The popular Suzuki Swift hatchback is poised to set another New Zealand sales record for compact small cars.
The five-door Swift is destined to be the top-selling supermini for 2011, marking a record-breaking run of seven successive years in the number one position.
In addition, the Swift will be the second best selling new car and the model most favoured by private car buyers for the year.
It has also been named one of the finalists for the 2011 New Zealand Car of the Year Award voted by more than 24 established motoring journalists in the New Zealand Motoring Writers Guild.
Swift is one of only two Japanese models to be selected in the final list, with the winner to be announced early in 2012.
Its selection came just a few weeks after the Suzuki was presented with the AMI Insurance Autocar magazine Small Car of the Year award for 2011.
The latest model Swift, launched in February 2011, quickly began selling ahead of its forecasts, just like the previous generation that had swept to leadership in the compact small class.
“The New Zealand experience has mirrored overseas trends where the Swift has recorded above forecast sales in most markets,” said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand.
“It has a reputation as a value for money car that’s good fun to drive,” he said. “The winning formula of the previous model was carried through with the new generation version with even better impact safety, driving and handling abilities, economy and significantly lower emissions.”
“Interior dimensions were also improved, and the winning looks were further enhanced, while not losing the distinctive character of the previous Swift,” said Tom Peck.
Higher strength steel resulted in a lighter yet stiffer body, adding to refinement while improving safety for occupants and pedestrians. A top 5 star Euro NCAP and ANCAP safety rating was awarded to the car.
Swift reached one million sales faster than any other Suzuki passenger car model, and is the most popular model Suzuki car ever sold in New Zealand.
Independent critics have labelled the Swift a well-resolved, unpretentious car with handling that is sharp and eager to engage and quick steering. The car’s sense of fun is simply another bonus.
Swifts sold in New Zealand are sourced from Suzuki’s high tech Sagara factory in Japan, but the international appeal of the model is so broad the car is now assembled in seven plants world-wide.
Seven versions of the Swift are available locally, in four specification levels, with prices starting from a highly competitive on road price of $20,500 for the 1.4-litre GL.