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by Tim Beissmann

Suzuki Australia says it is on track for a record-breaking sales year, having sold more new vehicles in the first five months of 2010 than in its best ever year.

From January to May, Suzuki sold 9985 cars in Australia, 25.5 percent ahead of 2009’s year-to-date figure and 264 cars clear of 2008 – the Japanese company’s most successful year Down Under.

A total of 2260 sales in May lifted Suzuki’s market share to 2.4 percent for 2010 (up from 2.3 at the same time last year), placing the brand in a strong position to achieve its 2010 goals according to general manager Tony Devers.

“That puts us on track to meet our target of 25,000 vehicles and 2.6 percent market share,” he said.

The Swift was again the brand’s strongest performer, recording 1115 sales in May for a 10.1 percent share of the sub-$25K Light segment. Year-to-date sales are 12.7 percent ahead of 2009 at 5292, although its market share has dropped marginally from 10.1 percent to 9.6 percent.

A lot of this is likely to do with the introduction of the baby Alto however, which is effectively a competitor in the sales data. As it was not on sale until the second half of 2009, the Alto had a zero percent share of the market at this time last year, but now has a 2.5 percent share for 2010.

May saw 245 Alto models registered by Australian owners, but Mr Devers explained high worldwide demand and upgrade works at the Mumbai Port in India have both proved constraints recently.

He confirmed that stocks of the GLX variant will arrive in June and July and subsequently expects sales to lift.

The Kizashi had an impressive first full month on sale with 244 examples of the new mid-sized sedan finding homes. The result placed it sixth in the sub-$60K Medium segment, behind the Toyota Camry, Mazda6, Subaru Liberty, Honda Accord Euro and Ford Mondeo, but ahead of the Holden Epica, Volkswagen Passat and the Hyundai i45 in its first month.

“The Kizashi launch has been an unprecedented success for the company.

“Inquiry via our website and at dealerships has set new records for Suzuki Australia and there is strong demand for the new car,” Mr Devers said.

Sliders for Suzuki included the APV, Grand Vitara, Jimny and SX4. All were down for May as well as for the whole of 2010 compared with last year. Grand Vitara, Jimny and SX4 all experienced year-to-date losses of between two and eight percent, while the APV is down 47 percent in 2010, having sold just 98 so far.




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