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Suzuki Captures Record Share Of NZ New Car Market

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Suzuki Captures Record Share Of New Zealand New Car Market

Suzuki has continued on its record-breaking way in the New Zealand new car market, with the best-selling Swift making further in-roads.

The brand posted its best-ever sales in August with an increase of 47.3 percent over the same month in 2007.

This contrasted with total new passenger car sales that declined 18.8 percent compared to August last year.

Spearheaded by the on-going success of the compact Swift hatchback, Suzuki sold a record 498 new cars for the month to take 8.69 percent of the total new car market.

The result placed Suzuki fourth best new car distributor, beaten only by Toyota, Ford and Holden, and ahead of Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Nissan.

Suzuki also increased its penetration of the local car market for the January-August period, achieving a record 8.0 percent.

At the same time, Suzuki’s new motor vehicle sales year to date are up 37.7 percent, from 2,943 to 4,053, while total motor industry sales have declined 1.4 percent.

It is the fourth successive year Suzuki has posted record sales. For the first eight months of 2004 the make held just 1.8 percent of the new car market.

This had risen to 5.6 percent for the same period last year when Suzuki boosted its volume by 40 percent over the year to date sales in 2006.

“Suzuki continues to defy market trends with ever-increasing sales,” said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand Limited.

“The enduring success of the highly popular Swift remains a stand-out feature of the New Zealand car market,” he said.

“In spite of a general easing back in total new car sales, the Swift had its best-ever month in August, further consolidating its position as the most popular small car in New Zealand.”

Among the best selling models, the Swift achieved a remarkable second overall placing in August, with only the Toyota Corolla selling in higher numbers.

In year to date sales, the Swift is lying third behind the Corolla and Holden Commodore. Swift sales are more than double its nearest small car rival.

Swift sales are up 50 percent this year, from 1,695 for the first eight months of 2007 to 2,474 for the same period in 2008.

The Swift also increased its share of the light car class from 22.6 percent to a record 26.2 percent this year, according to official Motor Industry Association figures.

“Suzuki is selling more Swift’s in New Zealand than ever before,” said Tom Peck.

In the wake of the car’s New Zealand success, the Swift has won the prestigious 2008 Gold Star award by Wheels magazine in Australia for cars priced between A$15,000 and A$20,000.

The magazine said the Swift “looks cool, is cool” and had been kept in the hunt because of strong resale and fuel economy and an equal first for service interval.

Judges described the car as a big step forward for Suzuki. “But the little Suzuki gives you side airbag protection at a sharp price,” wrote Wheels.

“Interrogate the reams of data and it is this safety score that gifts the Swift its class win,” said the publication.

Criteria for the award included purchase price, insurance costs, fuel economy, warranty, service, safety and driving manners.

In winning the Australian Award, the Swift beat the Hyundai Getz and Mazda2.


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