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Record Year Of Sales For Suzuki In New Zealand

17 January 2006

Record Year Of Sales For Suzuki In New Zealand

Record sales of new Suzuki cars and commercial vehicles in New Zealand for 2005 gave the Japanese franchise its best-ever year.

Registrations of new Suzuki vehicles increased by 97 percent compared to an overall increase of 4.7 percent for the total New Zealand motor vehicle market.

Suzuki automobile sales went from 1,332 in 2004 to 2,513 in 2005, reaching an all-time high for the brand.

At the same time, Suzuki increased its share of the new car market from 1.69 percent to 3.2 percent.

Demand for Suzuki was boosted by the phenomenal success of the all-new Swift five- door hatchback and new generation Grand Vitara. Both models were introduced during 2005.

Launched in February, the Swift soon became New Zealand's top-selling super-mini, with supplies unable to meet demand.

Last month the Swift was the fifth best selling model overall, while Suzuki ended the month as the sixth top motor vehicle franchise, ahead of Honda, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Subaru.

The Swift was one of the most awarded new cars of 2005, earning accolades in Europe, Japan and New Zealand.

Although December is traditionally a quiet month for car sales, Suzuki bucked the trend by recording its second best month for 2005.

"Last month's strong sales not only capped off a strong year of sales growth for Suzuki but also underlined the increasing strength of the brand in New Zealand," said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand Ltd.

Although the new Grand Vitara arrived late in 2005, it still impacted on the year results and is likely to stimulate yet more sales during 2006.

In November – the first full month of sales – the new Grand Vitara took the number two position in the highly competitive Sport Utility Vehicle market, and this sales strength continued in December.

A face lifted version of the compact Jimny four-wheel-drive with revised interior and new variable valve timing engine launched in 2005 and resulted in an almost doubling of sales for the model.

Sales of new Suzuki commercial vehicles increased 67 percent last year, with demand doubling for the 1.6-litre APV Carry van.

The New Zealand success story for Suzuki has been reflected internationally. In the United States of America Suzuki sales were up 11 percent in 2005 to a record 82,101.

Grand Vitara was the most popular Suzuki model in the USA, with sales up 78 percent over 2004, even though the new version did not go on sale there until September.

In Japan Suzuki's mini-car sales rose by 4.2 percent to 618,435 units which once again confirmed the make as the top brand in this market sector.

ENDS

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