Suzuki Swift: Japanese RJC Car of the Year
Japanese RJC Car of the Year Award to New Suzuki Swift
The car that has been the vanguard of many subsequent small car designs has scooped another award.
Suzuki’s all-new Swift hatchback, which arrives in New Zealand early next year, has followed its predecessor by winning the Automotive Researchers and Journalists Conference of Japan (RJC) Car of the Year award for 2011.
This accolade follows the Scottish Car of the Year award presented to the Swift earlier in November.
In 2006 the current Swift, which is still New Zealand’s top selling super mini, won the RJC Car of the Year award, one of the first of many presentations to the popular model.
Suzuki also won the RJC award in 1993 with the versatile Wagon R and again in 2008 for the Wagon R Stingray.
Since the introduction of the current generation Swift in 2004 as Suzuki’s first world strategic model, the compact car has raised the profile of the Suzuki brand.
More than 1.8 million Swifts have been sold in the past five years, and the model is now produced in seven plants worldwide and sold in 124 countries. It reached a production milestone of one million units faster than any other car in Suzuki’s history.
The new model is unmistakably an evolution of the current model which has been a consistent top seller in the New Zealand market since it first went on sale in 2005.
The Swift won the 2006 RJC Car of the Year award in Japan on the strengths of its performance, class comfort and combination of comprehensive equipment and highly competitive pricing.
Although the new model has only been launched in Japan and Europe recently, it has already earned acclaim in a market crowded with compact cars. Suzuki is targeting annual sales of 100,000 Swifts for the European market alone.
Higher levels of safety with the Swift are winning favour among buyers with the car being given a 5 Star EuroNCAP category, the highest score in overall rating.
“The new Swift is winning praise for its handling and stability, ride comfort, interior quality, performance and fuel economy,” said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand.
“Suzuki has been a master in small car design for 50 years and the much anticipated arrival of the new Swift will be the highlight for our brand in 2011,” he said.
The RJC Car of the Year title was instigated in 1991, and Japanese models launched between November 2009 and October 2010 were evaluated for the 2011 award.
By November 1, the vote narrowed the field to six models, and the final decision on November 16 determined the winner.