Suzuki dethrones Volkswagen as South Africa's second best selling car company in April

The Suzuki Swift accounted for the bulk of Suzuki Auto’s volumes in April. Picture: Suzuki Auto SA.

The Suzuki Swift accounted for the bulk of Suzuki Auto’s volumes in April. Picture: Suzuki Auto SA.

Published May 7, 2024


Suzuki Auto overtook Volkswagen Group SA to become South Africa’s second best-selling car company in April.

Although Suzuki edged past the Volkswagen brand in February this year, it still fell short of the Volkswagen Group’s overall sales that also includes Audi figures.

April saw the Japanese carmaker take second spot overall with 4,891 sales, narrowly beating the VW Group’s tally of 4,758.

However both were still far behind Toyota’s total of 8,541 sales for the month.

Despite the gloomy economic times, South African vehicle sales ticked slightly upwards in April, gaining 2.2% versus the same month in 2023.

A total of 38,172 vehicles found homes last month, according to Naamsa, with passenger cars (25,972) gaining 6.1% year-on-year and light commercials (9,646) losing 9.0%.

The Volkswagen Polo Vivo was still the country’s most popular car model in April. Picture: Volkswagen SA.

Volkswagen’s Polo Vivo was the nation’s best-selling passenger car in April, with 1,766 units sold, narrowly beating Suzuki’s Swift (1,725 units) as well as Toyota’s Corolla Cross (1,573) and Toyota Starlet (1,148).

Volkwagen’s second best selling product was the Polo (822) while the T-Cross managed 439 sales. Suzuki’s runners up were the Baleno (659) and S-Presso (335).

On the bakkie front the Toyota Hilux narrowly outsold the Ford Ranger, with 2,094 sales versus 2,073, but it was still enough to secure fourth place for Ford in the overall manufacturer ranking.

Volkswagen still SA’s manufacturing hero

Suzuki’s shift to second place overall, though indicative of the country’s thirst for affordable cars, is not necessarily something for South Africans to celebrate as the Japanese carmaker imports its products, almost exclusively from Maruti Suzuki of India.

Volkswagen builds over 10,000 Polos a month at its Kariega plant in the Eastern Cape, most of which are for export, and the operation employs almost 4,000 South Africans.

Although Polo exports are set to dry up later in the decade as the hatchback is being discontinued internationally, VW recently invested R4 billion to build a new compact SUV product at its SA plant.

IOL Motoring

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