Suzuki Auto South Africa says it enjoyed a “stellar sales performance” in June 2020, with its dealer network bucking the trend and breaking its sales record despite the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Japanese firm’s local division registered a total of 1 433 units in June, with all but one sold through its dealer network. While that’s not quite an overall record (Suzuki registered 1 696 units in February 2020), it is a dealer record.

Suzuki SA says its latest sales performance represents a 7,17 percent share of the country’s passenger vehicle market. It comes despite the industry showing a 30,7 percent fall in total new-vehicle sales compared with the same month in 2019.

So, which vehicles drove the firm’s sales in June? Well, the new S-Presso (despite a recent price increase to R139 900, the base model is still SA’s cheapest new car) led the charge with 555 units registered, while the Swift (297) and Jimny (249) also made valuable contributions.

“All credit goes to our national dealer network, which worked very hard to reopen all their dealership floors, while meeting government and Suzuki standards for sanitation and safety. Their rapid action allowed us to meet the pent-up demand for good quality, affordable vehicles such as our new S-Presso and popular Swift,” said André Venter, divisional manager for sales and marketing at Suzuki Auto SA.

“It was impossible to predict the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown or to fully gauge its impact on dealer health, but based on June’s sales it looks like there is a glimmer of hope for the auto industry.

“We will support our dealers as they continue to trade under difficult circumstances and will fully support the industry, which remains a very significant investor and employer in South Africa,” said Venter.

Interestingly, Suzuki Auto SA says its growth has “forced” it to increase both its support staff and parts storage.

“We have already identified a new corporate head office and warehouse facility in Johannesburg and will move as soon as it is safe to do so,” Venter added.