The Suzuki Swift is a top finalist in a prestigious World Car Award just as it hits the number one spot on the New Zealand market.
Suzuki’s most popular model was the top selling new car in New Zealand during February while maintaining a strong lead in the light passenger car segment for vehicles up to $25,000. The Swift captured a dominant 37.1 percent of this class.
No other new car or SUV model attracted as many buyers as the Swift hatchback, with demand further boosted by the arrival of the latest generation turbocharged Sport version.
Sales of new Swifts in New Zealand year to date are up 6.8 percent while the total passenger car market is down by 4.6 percent. The Swift has also increased its share of the light car class compared to the same period in 2017.
Suzuki also captured 7.9 percent of the combined new car and SUV market in February, ranking the brand fourth overall best seller.
Meanwhile the Swift has been named one of the top three finalists for the 2018 World Urban Car category of the World Car Awards (WCA). The winner will be announced at the New York International Motor Show on March 28.
The Urban award is for vehicles measuring between one metre and four metres in overall length, and voting is conducted by 82 influential automotive journalists from 24 countries.
Journalists will evaluate such criteria as how clean and green the cars are, while also taking into consideration safety, quietness, flexibility, fun and suitability for both city and open road use.
“This is the second year in a row that Suzuki has won enough votes to become a top three contender - and deservedly so,” said World Car of the Year juror, director and vice-chair, Mike Rutherford. “As our jurors have decided and as I have long suspected, Suzuki builds some of the finest small cars on the market.”
Suzuki had two models, including the new Ignis hatchback, in the top five last year and is the only motor manufacturer to have a top three finalist for two consecutive years.
The World Car Award is ranked the number one automotive award programme in terms of media reach. “Over the past 12 years this awards programme has grown to become one of the most coveted honors for the world’s auto industry,” said the chairman of the New York International Auto Show, John LaSorsa. He said the award recognised the “best of the best in the auto industry”.
The WCA is a not for profit organisation and is intended to compliment, not compete with, existing national and regional car of the year awards.