Suzuki Saudia posts 5 per cent sales growth in 1st half of 2009 amidst global auto market slump
Suzuki Saudia, the sole distributor of Suzuki vehicles in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and part of Bamarouf Group, has reported a 5 per cent growth in sales and an 8 per cent revenue increase for the first half of 2009, with high expectations for an even stronger second half.
The solid performance came amidst a global auto market downturn that was triggered by the 2003-2008 fuel crisis and worsened by the emergence of the global financial crisis in the second half of 2008. The US, one of the hardest-hit markets, reported one of its lowest sales levels in half a century in January 2009.
“Automobile companies from Asia, Europe and North America have been shifting their business strategies to enhance the sales figures and statuses. The situation is very different in Saudi Arabia, which represents the largest vehicle market in the Middle East. Japanese automobile brands account for almost two-thirds of local sales. And due to the success of the Suzuki “SX4”, “Swift” and “Grand Vitara” as well as other categories, we achieved recognized successful figures during the first half of 2009. The Suzuki vehicles gained the Saudi market acceptance especially that is offers safety and comfortable features. Furthermore, the sales and after sales team played a role in the success of Suzuki Saudia due to their professional services, “ said Maher Al Nabawi, Deputy General Manager, Suzuki Saudia.
The Suzuki SX4 five-door sedan led the 1st half sales, achieving a 27 per cent growth over 2008 for the same period. The Swift compact car came second at 15 per cent, followed by the Grand Vitara at 5 per cent. The high demand on Suzuki’s vehicles within the KSA market was achieved due to its safety and economic features among other vehicle brands in the Kingdom. Suzuki Saudia has been educating its personnel as well as after-sales representatives across the region on key technical aspects of Suzuki models, especially those that are newly launched. This prepares trainees to fully meet customer expectations and needs.
The dealership posted a 117.7 per cent growth in the Kingdom’s automobile sales in 2007 over the prior year. Its latest model, the five-door Celerio, managed to gain a 60 per cent share in the domestic compact car market just a few months after it was introduced to the country in June 2009.