Suzuki the one to watch, say judges

Japan’s favourite maker of compact cars this week received two significant awards at the CAR Magazine Top 12 Best Buys Awards, which will now take their place on the company mantelpiece next to equally significant awards received at the WesBank / Consumer Awards in January.

At CAR Magazine’s gala banquet, which also celebrated its 60th birthday and its position as South Africa’s best-selling automotive magazine, Suzuki received CAR Magazine’s nod as the Company to Watch in 2017. This sought-after honour was awarded after significant consideration by CAR Magazine’s panel of judges and it considers both the company’s recent performance and prospects.

CAR Magazine’s Company prize echoes that of the Wesbank / Consumer Awards, which was held on 19 January this year, where Suzuki walked away with the evening’s top prize as the Brand of the Year. For this award, only customer feedback is considered and Suzuki beat five other brands to the top spot.

“We are very proud of these overall awards, as it reflects the opinion of industry specialists and the public at large. These awards, as well as the product specific accolades, are very welcome public recognition of recent years’ hard work to improve our model range, pricing and customer service,” says André Venter, divisional manager for sales and marketing at Suzuki Auto South Africa.

Apart from the corporate recognition, the Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GA was singled out as the Best Budget Car by CAR’s panel of judges. It beat two other finalists in the category, which is one of only two categories where specific models are pitted against each other.

The Celerio 1.0 in GL specification received a similar honour at the Wesbank / Consumer Awards. These product awards combine professional scoring from journalists and a panel of celebrity judges with a comprehensive consumer survey, which included thousands of questionnaires collected from September 2015 to October 2016.

Like its smaller sibling, the Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GL+ won in its category, being named the Wesbank / Compact Family Car of the Year.  By winning this category, Suzuki effectively won every category for which its cars were considered.

“The recognition we received at these two prestigious awards will set the tone for a busy year for Suzuki in which we further improve our customer service and dealer network and expand our range of products,” says Venter.