Suzuki Auto has just passed a major sales milestone, continuing its meteoric rise in the South African vehicle sales landscape.
The Japanese maker of compact passenger vehicles, SUVs and commercial vehicles handed over the keys to its 200 000th buyer in July and ended the month with sales of 4 361 units.
This means that the total sales for Suzuki now stand at 201 417 since the group opened the doors of its first dealership in 2008.
To put this in perspective, Suzuki sold its 50 000th unit in August 2017, just over nine years after selling its first model. The last 50 000 units, which pushed the brand past the 200 000 mark, took just over 12 months.
“Our story in South Africa is one of increasing sales and increasing sales momentum,” says Henno Havenga, General Manager of Auto Sales and Marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa.
“For instance, we took just over 9 years to sell our first 50 000 units. The next 50 000 units were sold in four years, the next 50 000 units were marked off in 17 months, and our last 50 000 units to reach 200 000 sales were recorded in 12 months and a few days.”
One of the reasons for Suzuki Auto’s success can be found in the monthly sales analysis, provided by naamsa, the business council for the automotive industry.
According to naamsa, new vehicle buyers are feeling the pressure from the ever-increasing price of food and of general living expenses. The ten successive rate increases by the South African Reserve Bank have put further strain on disposable income and it has kept passenger sales below the previous year’s figure.
Naamsa reports that the industry sold 43 389 vehicles in July. This is an increase over the total sales of July 2022, when the industry sold 41 052 vehicles, but it hides the fact that passenger vehicle sales declined by 9.7% or 2 985 vehicles in July 2023.
In contrast, Suzuki sales have grown as a percentage of overall sales. In May, Suzuki’s overall sales of 3 709 units represented 8.61% of total sales. In June, that number and the percentage grew to 4 335 and 9.26% respectively and by July, the brand sold 4 361 units for a total percentage of 10.05%.
In the passenger vehicle market, the market share for Suzuki vehicles grew from 12.77% to 13.63% and ultimately to 14.9% in the same three months.
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