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Suzuki says 'no' to fleet division

Directors at Suzuki GB have voted against setting up a direct supply channel to handle sales of the company's first corporate car.

Suzuki's share of total UK registrations is expected to show an eight per cent increase when an all-new replacement for the Grand Vitara reaches the showrooms in 2005.

Substantially bigger than the current model, the next-generation SUV will be positioned as a direct competitor to the BMW X3, Land Rover Freelander and Toyota RAV4. But the importer's decision not to set up a dedicated department for corporate sales is a vote of confidence in its 150-strong dealer network.

Sales and marketing director David Seaward says: “As a strong contender in the business transport sector, this car will give us considerably more exposure in the marketplace, but we see no reason to make changes in the way our products are retailed.

“The primary customer of Suzuki is its network. There is no doubt that the relationship we enjoy with our retailers is one of the company's main assets and is the major reason behind the success we have enjoyed over the last five years.”

Seaward adds: “We feel there is no need to change our system of retailing, because the dealers are well up to the job. We are so confident they will cope with the added demand that we regard setting up a direct fleet department not worth the investment.”

Suzuki GB registrations will total 35,000 this year and enjoy a marginal rise in 2004 despite an absence of new model launches.

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