JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – Suzuki Auto SA has announced a price freeze on all models and will bypass the usual fourth-quarter round of 2017 auto industry price increases.
It’s seen as a bold – and commendable – move for cash- and credit-strapped people here in South Africa. Some brands, Suzuki said, had already raised sticker numbers.
André Venter, divisional head for sales and marketing at Suzuki, told Carman’s Corner: “The Consumer Confidence Index and general economic growth make clear that people are feeling the pinch.
“With that in mind, we decided to squeeze as much value into our prices and warranties as possible.”
HERE COME OTHERS’ PRICE RISES
The announcement follows Suzuki’s inclusion of a five-year or 200 000km warranty on every passenger vehicle sold until the end of December 2017 – double the distance and two years longer than the previously.
“With a customary start in October,” Suzuki added, “most vehicle brands raise vehicle prices by 0.5% to two percent in the affordable (there’s a description that makes ordinary South Africans chuckle! – Editor) vehicle segments.
“For instance, in the Suzuki Celerio segment, three main competitors raised prices variously by 1.6%, 1% and 0.6% and with warranties shorter than ours.”
STRONG GROWTH PASSED ON
Suzuki Swift and Dzire ranges held their prices but the two main hatchback models have had to increase by one to two percent.
Suzuki says its announcement follows three strong sales-growth quarters which started with Suzuki being crowned Brand of the Year by WesBank / cars.co.za and peaked in the third quarter when the Ignis (pictured) was chosen as a finalist in the 2018 SA Car of the Year competition soon after scoring runner-up in the World Car of the Year.
Venter added: “It’s truly heartening to see our hard work and long-term planning pay dividends. In August, for instance, Suzuki welcomed 1004 customers – the most relevant recognition of our prices and value.”