Suzuki PH emerges from rough 2018 unscathed, ready for the years ahead


Suzuki Philippines Director and Automobile Division General Manager Keiichi Suzuki speaking during the recent launch of the Jimny.

Suzuki Philippines has emerged unscathed from a tumultuous 2018 that saw a lot of local industry players reeling from the imposition of higher excise taxes on automobiles and fuel, not to mention the consecutive monthly inflation rate increases.

Despite the negative factors, Suzuki Philippines reported a 2.5 percent growth, enabling the Japanese automotive brand to climb a notch higher in the overall sales ranking by the end of 2018.

“Last year was indeed a success for us. We closed the year with 2.5 percent growth and sold more units compared with 2017, all despite the downward trend in the automotive industry,” relates Suzuki Philippines director and GM Keiichi Suzuki.

A joint report of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi), Truck Manufacturers Association Inc. (TMA), and the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (Avid) showed that overall vehicle sales in 2018 dipped by 15.22 percent—just 401,803 units compared to the 473,943 units sold in 2017.

In 2018, Suzuki Philippines was one of only three automotive brands that bucked the downward trend in sales as it sold 19,740, 477 units more than what it sold in 2017.

“We are grateful for the continued strong sales of our vehicles, in particular the Ertiga, Celerio and Vitara, which combined accounted for 56 percent of our total sales last year. We believe that the upgrades and innovations we make on our vehicles match the needs of the market, and therefore contribute to the growth in sales,” relates Suzuki.

Warm response

He relishes the warm response to the company’s vision to share the Suzuki Way of Life to more Filipinos, which inspired them to do even better—make better products and provide better service.

This year, Suzuki Philippines expects to replicate and even exceed their 2018 performance, especially now that the company just added the all-new Jimny All-Grip Pro to the lineup.

The fourth generation all-new Jimny All-Grip Pro promises to deliver authentic 4×4 experience thanks to its part-time four-wheel drive with low-range transfer gear that allows the diminutive SUV to switch between four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive to achieve optimal off-road performance and better fuel economy, as well as enhanced cornering on paved roads.

“The all-new Jimny All-Grip Pro’s ‘Nobody but Jimny?’ tagline simply tells our buyers that nobody but Jimny can take them to places. With its compact and rugged built, practical exterior design, light weight and fuel-efficient engine, the all-new Jimny All-Grip Pro delivers authentic 4×4 experience. It is built to tackle the harshest weather and terrain so this particular Jimny goes where other vehicles fear to tread. With all these, nobody but Jimny really delivers that real off-road experience and true adventure,” explains Suzuki.

Suzuki explains that the all-new Jimny All-Grip Pro uses a ladder frame that is more resistant to torsion compared with a monocoque body. “This means it is better suited for rough-and-tumble outdoor terrain. Also, the new Jimny uses a long-stroke three-link suspension and rigid full wheel axles on both front and rear for strong traction on uneven terrain.”

Improved structure

The all-new Jimny All-Grip Pro body design adopts Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology or TECT concept that employs a structure that efficiently absorbs and disperses energy in the event of a collision.

Additionally, the SUV also has a Pedestrian Mitigating Body design that absorbs impact to alleviate head and leg injuries in an event of a collision.

Suzuki relates that another design consideration for the all-new Jimny All-Grip Pro is to reduce driver stress and fatigue.

“To achieve this, the SUV’s ladder frame rigidity was increased and the body mounts redesigned, to lower vibration. The front seat cushion frames are widened by 70mm and made taller by 50mm for better shock absorption. Unnecessary noise inside the cabin was reduced through strategic placement of sound-absorbing materials throughout the body.”

And with prices that start at P975,000, Suzuki is very pleased with consumer response. “Market interest in the all-new Jimny All-Grip Pro is definitely overwhelming. Given the warm market support, we will be more aggressive in our sales and marketing programs, as well as dealership expansions. With all these and the growing automotive sector in the country, we are confident of continued uptick in 2019.”

He explains that bringing the all-new Jimny All-Grip Pro to the Philippine market will further boost Suzuki Philippines’ presence in the small SUV sector and increase overall sales.

“The new Jimny will also further expand Suzuki Philippines’ lineup of innovative vehicles and allow us to broaden our customer reach across the country and bring the Suzuki Way of Life to more Filipinos.”

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