By Khulekani Dumisa
It seems like there is no stopping the Suzuki Swift. Last month we reported that the Swift was on course to win two prestigious awards in South Africa, namely Budget Car of the Year at the Cars Awards and the South African Car of the Year. The Swift has clinched Budget Car of the Year. Could it complete the magical double?
A winning car
The Suzuki Swift came into the Cars Awards having begged a couple of other international awards. Shortly after its global introduction, the Swift was voted Japan’s Car of the Year. India recently voted for it as its Car of the Year and this year it is also a finalist, alongside the new Jimny, for the South African Car of the Year trophy.
Tough Budget Car Category
In the Cars Awards, the Swift was up against formidable competition in what is one of the fiercest categories of the Cars Awards. Underscoring the importance of the category, Ghana Msibi, WesBank’s Executive Head of Sales and Marketing, was quoted as saying, “The first purchase is always exciting, yet scary at the same time. It is therefore imperative to be clear about one’s needs as well as affordability… The Cars.co.za Consumer Awards gives car manufactures and consumers a great platform to better evaluate particular cars based on their needs, whilst also involving the most important stakeholders, the consumers, in choosing the deserving winner in the respective categories…”
According to the Cars.co.za website, and terms of the competition rules, judges were looking for the following when evaluating the competitors in the Budget Car category:
“…[b]udgets are tight. Fuel costs are rising. Yet buying an affordable car doesn’t mean you should compromise on safety, technology and quality. The winner of this category represents as much good car as possible for the money. Value is very important, as are running costs and all such “common sense” considerations. The price cap in this category is set at R200 000.”
In addition, winner of the Budget Car category was evaluated and selected based on the following aspects:
- Fuel Economy;
- Value for money;
- Brand strength – which refers to preference for established brands with a proven track record; includes peace of mind that comes from a large servicing network, resale value, a strong warranty and length of service plan.
Not an easy category but the Suzuki Swift came up tops. Suzuki South Africa credits the win to a combination of factors including style, safety and affordability. To Suzuki’s credit and particularly in respect of the last mentioned point, Suzuki has kept prices virtually unchanged since the new Swift was launched in June last year.
A buyers’ choice
Finally a big factor to take into account about the significance of the victory is the consumer involvement: “every award or honourable mention is highly appreciated, but even more when it is given by the public, like in the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards powered by WesBank,” says André Venter, divisional manager for sales and marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa.
What’s next for the Suzuki Swift range in South Africa? For 2019, Suzuki is planning more exciting news for the Swift with the introduction of the exciting new Swift Sport. The Swift Sport will introduce Suzuki’s acclaimed Boosterjet engines to South Africa with a 1.4 litre Boosterjet turbo-petrol engine capable of 103 kW and a racy 230 Nm of torque. Exciting times ahead!
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