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Here's some fun facts for a Friday afternoon: from 1989 through 1999 Suzuki couldn't muster even 50,000 in annual sales in the U.S. and through July of this year it's at nearly 65,000. Lots of things had do to go right for Suzuki to enjoy the kind of success it's having, not the least of which is the mass exodus the market has seen from traditional large SUVs to smaller, less thirsty ones. The company also chose to up its ad budget at the right time raising the dollars it spends on advertising from $77 million in 2004 to $107 million in 2005. (Note – we've seen a few Suzuki ads on these pages before, so we're guessing some of that money went to Weblogs, Inc.).
Now it seems that 100,000 in annual sales is attainable for the first time in the company's history of selling vehicles in the U.S. In addition to the success of the newly redesigned Grand Vitara (sales are up over 500% compared to last year), the larger XL-7 is set to land here soon and the new entry-level SX-4 is right around the corner. Even the aged Forenza, which is the brand's volume seller, is up 27% over last year. The only thing needed to keep Suzuki above the century mark in sales is a Swift kick in the pants.

[Source: AdAge via Straightline Blog]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      If only Suzuki would get on Daewoo's case and improve the Forenza/Reno in both safety and reliability/dependability issues this automaker would become a true competitive force. The others (Toyota/Honda/Nissan and Hyundai/Kia)definitely would have a quite a situation to reckon with, for sure, with Suzuki pulling much more of a market share in sales. Forget about the domestic brands!

      I also look forward to the new SX4 AWD!!

      • 8 Years Ago
      The Grand Vitara is entirely different vehicle than the Equinox. The standard drivetrain is RWD, and a low range is available with AWD. Like past GVs, it's designed to go off-road.

      The upcoming 2007 XL-7, on the other hand, is based on the Equinox, but with a third row and GM's DOHC V6.

      GM sold nearly all of its stake in Suzuki, but the two continue to collaborate.

      Suzuki might not be strong in the U.S., but it's the market leader in India and does well in other developing countries. Since that's where most future sales growth will be, their future looks pretty good.

      To see how the price of the Grand Vitara compares:

      • 8 Years Ago
      So, lessee. Make a product people like, price it competitively, advertise it effectively and your sales go up.

      Hey, anybody over at Mitsubishi watching this?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Will Suzuki sales go higher or lower when they no longer have the Grand Vitara (ie. Chevy Equinox) for sale on their lots?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Err I thought it was mostly because they started selling GM Daewoo cars as Suzuki's.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The sx4, BTW, IS a Swift(stretched platform?), with AWD.
      I read(your pick, MotorTrend, Intellichoice,etc) Future Vehicles, that the new Reno(???) will be sportier(or have a sportier version in th elineup) nnext year, mainly done by Suzuki(maybe that 155HP engine, currently in the exiting Aerio sedan, may make it into the Reno, as the SX4 will have 143HP?) and for 08, have a family car(compact?) that is as sporty (for cars) as their motorcycles are!
      Hmmmm.... one other thing: The Dealerships Are Horrible!
      Man...... most of them look like they are based at old, small, gas stations, with maybe 20 vehicles
      on the lots!
      They need to address this, asap!
      Why buy a new car if you're afraid the dealership will close next year?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I've stopped by the Suzuki dealership in Albany, NY twice this month, trying to get a test drive of the SX4. The salesguys are really excited about the SX4 and all the good press it's been seeing. The Grand Vitara they said is selling nicely and the last time I was there, a lady was trading in her Forrester for one. I think that says a lot. Suzuki's interiors are getting better and better, while I don't care for what I've seen of the XL-7 the sales guy think it will be a winner for them.

      I think Suzuki is on the right track and think things can only get better. Let's hope their SWT department has some fun with the SX4 and Grand Vitara. I think their only mistake was not having something between the SX4 and Grand Vitara, perhaps when they ditch the Forenza we'll see a nice CUV come out of that too. I especially think they can win over the new generation if they give us something like late 80's Swift GT.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yes, I agree that Suzuki needs to VWize their showrooms
      and provide excellent service to show other automakers they mean business.
      Secondly, I am starting to see more Grand Vitaras on the road and I think the public is starting to recognize that your are getting a good truck for the money.
      The GV should also come with a 4 Cylinder for even better economy.
      I am also very excited to drive the SX4 myself and seeing if this or the Patriot
      will be my next car. However, my eyes are also on the GV. so I think either way
      Suzuki might have me at their next customer : )-