The month of March started with a bang for Suzuki Auto South Africa.

On this first day of the month Suzuki celebrated the news that it has again won all three categories in which it was nominated in the Consumer Awards, sponsored by Absa. Later during the same day, naamsa, the industry business council, announced that Suzuki dealers have again set a new record and that Suzuki came within a hair’s breadth of its all-time sales record.

To cap it all off, Suzuki popped the champagne with the Griquas Rugby Union as the new naming sponsor at a gala dinner at Suzuki Stadium in Kimberley on the evening of 1 March 2024.


“Suzuki Auto is humbled by the latest vehicle sales statistics, and by the recognition received from customers and judges at the #CarsAwards. We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to team up with a national sports team, and the second oldest rugby union, the Griquas. This allows us to give back to the local community in Kimberley and to the development of sports in the region,” says Henno Havenga, General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa.


Clean sweep at the #CarsAwards
Suzuki Auto makes South Africa’s top Entry-level Hatchback, Budget Hatchback and Crossover and it is the runner up Brand of the Year. So says the panel of Consumer Awards judges that put 39 different finalist vehicles through their paces. These judges selected Suzuki as the best brand for bang-for-your-buck vehicles, a decision that was borne out by the data from customers.

We consider the Awards an important barometer of our brand’s performance. The competition is judged not only by a large panel of specialist judges, but it considers the feedback from thousands of owners for 50% of its verdict.


“The fact that Suzuki has consistently been chosen as the best budget car brand is strong validation of our efforts to maintain the best possible customer service, regardless of the selling price of the car. Furthermore, the accolade granted to the Suzuki Grand Vitara 1.5 GLX as the Best Entry-level Crossover is a clear indication of Suzuki’s expertise and value in the compact SUV segment, with no less than four new compact SUVs launched in 2023,” says Brandon Carpenter, Brand Marketing Manager of Suzuki Auto South Africa.

Carpenter points to the strong performance of the Suzuki Grand Vitara, a top-seller in the Suzuki line-up and the winner of the Best Entry Level Crossover category. The new 1.5 GLX model was picked by judges as the best in class. Suzuki has added to the choice of family SUVs with its new five-door Suzuki Jimny, which adds true-blue low-range off road capabilities alongside more space for adventurous families.

Returning to the competition, picked the Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX as its Best Entry Level Hatchback. Interestingly, the Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GL was the runner up in this category. This is the category with the highest winning margin (6.4%).

In the category for Budget Hatchbacks, the Suzuki Baleno 1.5 GLX won the award and in the category for the Best Entry Level Crossover, the Suzuki Grand Vitara 1.5 in GLX specification was chosen by both the judges and the public. Of equal importance is the fact that Suzuki was the runner up in the coveted Brand of the Year Award. This Award considers all relevant attributes, including customer service, vehicle rand and brand affinity to pick South Africa’s top automotive brands. Suzuki has won this category twice before.

Sales growth in a declining market
Suzuki’s performance at the #CarsAwards were reflected in the sales statistics for February.
According to naamsa the sales of new vehicles continued to decline amidst tough economic conditions and low consumer confidence.
Despite these tough sales conditions, Suzuki Auto set a new dealer sales record. The brand retailed 4 488 vehicles to individual buyers and small businesses, supporting the statement that Suzuki is South Africa’s budget champion.

Overall Suzuki Auto sold 5 221 units in February, which is 3 units less than its all-time record. The overall industry declined by 0.9% - its seventh consecutive month of decline – while Suzuki outperformed the market throughout and increased its market share at the same time.

“We will continue to refine our service offering to customers in the budget segments of the vehicle market. We know that a true budget champion is not only a vehicle with a low selling price, but one that costs less to maintain and uses less fuel,” says Havenga.


Suzuki and Griquas join hands
While Suzuki popped the champagne with the Griqua team in Kimberley to celebrate their sponsorship of this iconic team, it also celebrated its sales performance and awards.
To us, the Griquas show the same gutsy spirit that we try to embody. In Japan, this spirit is called ‘yaruki’, which directly translates to ‘motivation’ but is used in Japanese culture to represent a strong will to succeed.

“That is our motto. We are eager to show the market and our customers that you do not have to compromise when choosing an affordable vehicle. You can have award winning vehicles and customer service, with great styling and Japanese quality, all at Suzuki prices,” says Havenga.