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'Small car' Suzuki's big UK turnaround

Suzuki’s future model plans

Following a fallow period in Suzuki’s product cycle, the brand is planning to introduce a new car every year for at least the next three years.

The replacement for the Alto, called Celerio, will arrive in January 2015 (it will also replace the Splash). It’s bigger than the current Alto and this is likely to push the entry-level price up.

Wyatt said: “The A segment is changing. It used to be about accessing value, but consumers don’t want to compromise anymore.

“The price has to reflect that, they want good design, all the toys and safety.”

Future model plans include a European- built new B-segment Nissan Juke rival, shown in concept form as the IV4, which will go on sale in the UK in spring 2015. The IV4 production model will be offered in 2WD and 4WD variants and help to reduce the average customer age for the brand.

Another new mid-size SUV could also be arriving in 2015.

There will also be a replacement for the six-year old Swift in 2016 as the brand’s core model.

The Grand Vitara will remain in the range. There are no plans to replace the Jimny for the next three or four years, but if a replacement does come it will be “light, narrow and simple”.

The long-term goal is still to focus on models with high-efficiency petrol engines, rather than heading towards an electric car future.


Where is Suzuki going next?

With new models coming, is Suzuki looking to move the brand upmarket?

Wyatt said: “It’s important that any brand stays loyal and strong with its core DNA. Suzuki delivers well made, value-for-money Japanese products. The minute you get excited and tell the customer you’re something you’re not, they’ll see straight through it.”

More than 40% of Suzuki’s volumes in the future will be crossover and SUV, so the over-reliance on smaller cars, such as the Alto and Swift, will decline.

The average invoice value will change with the products coming through, but Wyatt wants to hold on to its strength of selling efficient small cars and rediscover its strength with selling 4x4s.

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