How South Africans are choosing affordability and quality when it come to cars
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South Africans are turning to Suzuki in ever-greater numbers.
The Japanese vehicle manufacturer sold 4 381 vehicles in November, recording a 2% rise over November 2022, and bucking the trend that has seen the overall vehicle market decline by 13.4% in the same month.
More importantly perhaps, was the massive jump in dealer sales. Of its total vehicle sales, the Suzuki dealer network sold 3 947 units. This is a new record in South Africa, and it beats the previous record of 3 857 sales, set by Suzuki dealers a mere 30 days ago.
This is the fourth consecutive month of above-average sales for Suzuki. It inversely correlates with the overall vehicle market, which has recorded its fourth consecutive month of declining sales.
“People are feeling the pinch of rising food, fuel and general living costs. Many must replace their current vehicle due to age or expensive maintenance costs and they are turning to Suzuki for the solution. This is why our dealer network is seeing the greatest rise in sales. It comes from individual buyers,” says Henno Havenga, General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa.
Naamsa echoes the statements of Havenga, saying that most South Africans are turning away from vehicles that are expensive to buy or maintain and that consumer confidence is at a low point due to the rising costs of living.
The overall market is only up by 0.5%, whilst the passenger market is down 4.4% over the same period in 2022.
In Suzuki’s case, sales of all its popular models are up over the previous year. The Suzuki Swift found 1 117 new homes in November, followed by the Fronx with 547 sales despite the stock challenges of this highly desirable model. The Fronx was launched in August, and it has quickly become one of the most popular models in the Suzuki line-up.
Other very popular models include the Suzuki Ertiga, which had an exceptionally good sales month with 520 units sold. On the commercial vehicle side, the Suzuki Eeco sold 106 units in November.
“South African vehicle market has not recovered after the 2020 pandemic, but Suzuki has grown every month. This signals a change in buying habits from customers who are buying new cars. They are not necessarily staying away, they are buying into brands like Suzuki who can offer better value-for-money motoring and lower monthly fuel bills,” says Havenga.
To emphasise this, Havenga points to its highest ever sales month – July 2022 – when it sold 4 622 vehicles. In that month, the industry sold only 43 593 vehicles, compared to the equally low 45 075 vehicles sold in November this year.
Another example is that of dealer sales. Suzuki set two new dealer sales records in the past four months, while the market declined during the same period.
“We look forward to another strong sales month in December, the first month that the Suzuki Jimny five-door range will have a full month of sales,” says Havenga.
“And we will keep an eye on the performance of the Suzuki models that are in the running for the South African Car of the Year and Cars.co.za Consumer Awards competitions. In both instances, our models in the running show that you do not have to compromise on features or quality when looking for the most affordable option for your hard-earned money.”