Suzuki’s triumphant troika
A troika of Suzuki automobiles remains the Philippines’ market favorites, pulling up Suzuki Philippines sales in the first quarter of the year.
Ertiga, Celerio and Vitara models, contributed largely to the robust increase in sales for the first quarter. The three award-winning models combined accounted for 58 percent of the auto brand’s sales for the period, Suzuki said.
Suzuki Philippines ended up the first quarter of the year with flying colors, posting the highest year-to-date (YTD) vehicle sales increase in the entire local automotive industry.
Achieving 21.4 percent YTD sales growth in March, SPH strengthens its presence in the market and sets its sight on continued uptick in the months to come. It hopes to continue moving up the industry sales charts after taking the top 6 position in local automobile sales, a step up from its seventh rank in the first quarter of 2017.
The initial phase implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law slowed down the auto industry in recent months, with sales in nearly all auto categories declining. Suzuki Philippines cushioned itself from the negative impact by strategically deciding to keep its 2017 price list for a certain period in Q1. This buoyed up company sales further, with Q1 sales growth double that of the entire local auto industry.
“We were prudent with our marketing efforts for the first quarter of the year because we anticipated developments in the business landscape as a result partly of the TRAIN Law and of course other factors,” shared SPH Vice President and Automobile Division General Manager Shuzo Hoshikura. “The Suzuki brand has been consistently driving forward, strengthening its market footprint nationwide. It would be a step back to not take advantage of all opportunities to resonate better with our key stakeholders, in particular reflect the resiliency of the Filipino people.”
The well-loved family vehicle Ertiga continues to be the best-selling Suzuki vehicle with 33 percent share of sales. The Ertiga delivers utility, power and cost efficiency, perfect for Filipinos looking for a vehicle that offers top-tier functionality. The 7-seater vehicle is designed to provide comfort with maximized accommodation capacity.
Celerio, the Best Value-for-Money awardee in the standard mini category in last year’s Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards (AFMCA), ranks second in terms of Suzuki sales with a 13 percent share. The hatchback features a 1-liter engine and a light compact design, delivering power and efficiency for a fun and versatile drive.
With a 12 percent sales share, the recently launched Vitara, becomes a Suzuki best-seller. The 2017 CAGI Car of the Year awardee under the Subcompact Crossover Category boasts strong personalization features in its stylish design. Delivering enhanced driving and safety, the new-generation subcompact SUV makes city driving more enjoyable for Filipino riders.
Targeted and effective brand-building efforts, specifically expansion and network building initiatives, contribute to strengthening the Suzuki brand’s foothold in the country. Dealership openings in key growth areas such as Isabela -- and soon in Rizal and Batangas -- widen the company’s reach, enabling it to serve more Filipinos while increasing brand visibility.
Hoshikura expressed his gratitude to the Filipino market for the warm support received by the brand in the Philippines.
“The active support we get from the local market inspires us to pursue our goal of sharing with more people the Suzuki Way of Life. The most we can do to return the warm market response is to deliver on the promise of providing Filipinos with only the best-value vehicles and services. We are truly grateful for all these opportunities that the Philippine auto industry continues to give us,” said Hoshikura.
Earlier this month, Suzuki Philippines participated for the first time at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) 2018, cementing the brand’s presence and competence in the market. Best-selling and award-winning Suzuki models such as the Vitara, Ciaz and Ertiga were displayed during the 4-day event. To celebrate the inaugural participation of Suzuki in MIAS, the soon-to-launch all-new Dzire with Auto Gear Shift (AGS) technology upgrade was also put on display.