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Suzuki Eyes Bigger Share of NZ Small Car Market


Press Release No: PRESS/AM12/10
Scheduled Release: 24 February 2012

Suzuki Eyes Bigger Share of New Zealand Small Car Market

Increasingly efficient models will underpin Suzuki ambitions to take an even bigger share of the small car market in New Zealand.

The brand is targeting 30 per cent of the supermini segment in 2012, helped by the introduction of more fuel thrifty, low emission cars.

Not only is there an impending arrival of an updated, more economical version of Suzuki’s smallest model, the Alto, but also a diesel version of the Suzuki Swift, New Zealand’s biggest selling small car, will soon be available.

Suzuki is expecting to sell 5,700 new cars in New Zealand this year, a 17.9 per cent increase on 2011 which was the marque’s second best result.

“Last year the Swift captured 23.6 per cent of the light car class while its nearest rival, the Toyota Yaris, took 15.6 per cent,” said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for
Suzuki New Zealand, speaking at the recent launch of the new Swift Sport in Wellington.

Total sales of light cars in New Zealand in 2011 improved by 15.7 per cent – it is the highest increase of all categories of new cars.

“At the same time, the large car class suffered the biggest drop in sales, an indication of the way in which the market is heading,” said Tom Peck. Large car sales last year declined by 18.2 per cent.

Suzuki already had the lowest average CO2 emissions of the top twelve selling brands of motor vehicles, and was making further improvements in this direction.

Remarkably, while cars with automatic transmissions are usually less economical and produce more emissions than their manual gearbox equivalents, the new Swift Sport hatchback is a notable exception.

This flagship Swift uses 6.1 litres/100 km of fuel in the combined cycle, compared with 6.5 litres/100 km for the new Sport manual and 7.5 litres/100 km for the outgoing Swift Sport manual.

“It is a win win situation with the new Swift Sport not only being more refined, faster, safer and better equipped, but more economical and easier on the environment,” said Peck. The improvements have come at a modest increase in price.

Suzuki predicts it will sell 500 of the high performance Swift Sport this year, almost equaling the record of 506 for the previous version in 2007. Of the 14,000 new Swifts sold in New Zealand since 2005, 1,600 have been Sport models.

Female buyers for the out-going Sport comprised 59 per cent of total sales but with the arrival of an automatic variant the target base is widened. The old Swift Sport was only available in manual gearbox form.

Despite production and supply constraints resulting from the Japanese earthquake and Thailand floods, world production of Suzuki cars at more than 2.7 million units in 2011 was down only slightly on the previous year.

Stocks of Suzuki Splash and Jimny models to New Zealand were affected, but production is now back to normal.


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