Suzuki Auto South Africa says 2020 proved its “most successful year yet” in terms of sales, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While overall industry sales fell some 29,1 percent in 2020, Suzuki Auto SA ended up selling 16 527 units in 2020, adding 1 046 units to 2019’s tally and increasing its market share to 4,3 percent.

Suzuki says its dealer network grew sales by 17,84 percent to 13 556 units, while sales to fleet customers and the government improved by 12 percent. The Japanese firm’s local arm says its best month was October 2020, when it registered some 2 032 units.

“There is no better testament to the hard work and resilience of our staff and dealer network than the increase in sales last year,” said André Venter, divisional manager for sales and marketing at Suzuki Auto SA.

“One should keep in mind that for a couple of weeks we were not able to welcome customers at all, and in the latter part of the year we were constrained by a shortage of stock from some international suppliers. Yet our team did everything they could to keep our customers happy and our waiting lists as short as possible,” he added.

Venter pointed out the budget-beating S-Presso launched in March 2020 contributed gamely to the brand's improved sales volumes.

“The S-Presso has proven to be the perfect product for tough times and it proved to cash-strapped consumers that they do not have to forego new car luxuries and an SUV body shape when they opt for an entry-level vehicle,” says Venter.

In addition, Suzuki Auto SA plans to add the Vitara Brezza – India’s best-selling vehicle – in February 2021.