Suzuki hasn’t overpriced the car and then put stupid discounts on it to attract customers into the showroom.” According to a successful brand dealer, that is one of the key reasons behind the success of the Vitara, to which AM bids adieu this month.
The model, he said, is winning conquest business from all but the prestige brands – in particular Kia (customers choosing it over the Sportage), Hyundai (IX35) and the Nissan Juke.
Price, combined with the “appearance and level of spec” mean the Vitara gets on customers’ shopping lists before they “work out how much it is going to cost them a month”, the dealer said.
The S model, he said, with its 1.4-litre petrol engine, was a positive, lower-priced addition to the range.
The dealer sold about 700 Suzukis last year, about a quarter of them Vitaras. He maintains about 20 in stock: “We now have a good blend of three to four attractive products in the range, all selling reasonably well.”
However, one note of caution was in Suzuki’s wish to win corporate fleet business: “We will start having to compete with brokers. Competing with another dealer is fine as we’re on a level playing field. But with brokers in the mix, we’re likely to get customers being offered a car for £10 less a month from someone working on the telephone in an office somewhere.
“For dealers this has a strong negative emotional effect,” he said.