Small-car specialist Suzuki is poised to clock-up its best annual sales result in 10 years, buoyed by record demand for fuel-miser models in the wake of the pandemic – and record high petrol prices.
A buyer shift towards affordable fuel-efficient vehicles – driven by high petrol prices that eclipsed $2 per litre, and a shift away from public transport during the pandemic – is poised to deliver the best sales in a decade for small-car specialist Suzuki.
The latest sales figures show the Japanese brand has posted its strongest start to the year since 2012 and is currently tracking not far behind its all-time annual sales record of 24,789 deliveries reported in 2010.
Suzuki Australia is affected by ongoing stock shortages and uncertain delivery times, as is the case with most mainstream new-car brands.
However, Suzuki Japan has answered the call for more production so it can fill the long list of back orders.
The waiting time for most new Suzuki cars ranges from three to 12 months in Australia, but the factories are working overtime to meet the surge in demand.
“Suzuki is going from strength to strength,” said Suzuki Australia boss Michael Pachota.
“Suzuki has always had a reputation for safe, economical, reliable and affordable cars, and the pandemic and rising petrol prices have brought a lot of people back to our brand.”
Industry analysts say frontline medical staff and first responders are among the new-car buyers who decided to ditch public transport in favour of the sanctuary of their own car, amid fears of community infection during the pandemic.
“Suzuki has always had a loyal fan base but our cars really seem to fit the lifestyle of a lot of people these days,” said Mr Pachota.
Suzuki is also taking advantage of a number of small-car rivals falling by the wayside and vacating the most affordable segments of the new-car market.
A number of city cars have disappeared from showroom floors in Australia in recent years – such as pint-sized hatchbacks from Holden, Hyundai and Ford.
Rivals that stayed the distance – such as the Toyota Yaris and Mazda 2 – have had sharp price rises.
“Suzuki specialises in affordable and efficient small to medium hatchbacks and SUVs, so we know how to deliver a good choice of cars at price points people can still afford,” said Mr Pachota.
If Suzuki sales in Australia remain on their current trajectory, this year will be the first annual tally that eclipses the 20,000 mark in nine years – and the best sales result in 10 years.
“With our parent company Suzuki Japan we are doing our best to fill our customers orders as quickly as we can, but we do ask people to please be patient with us. The whole car industry is dealing with uncertain production and shipping, and Suzuki is not immune from those outside factors,” said Mr Pachota.
Suzuki Australia sales since last record result
- 2022 June YTD: 11,246 (up 21.1 per cent)
- 2021 17,468
- 2020 15,586
- 2019 17,310
- 2018 17,601
- 2017 19,256
- 2016 19,495
- 2015 19,086
- 2014 17,422
- 2013 22,075
- 2012 24,057
- 2011 23,778
- 2010 24,789 (record)
Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).
Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years, spending most of that time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018, and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.