News - Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki increases Vitara supply
Blown away: Suzuki is expecting fewer supply issues for its Vitara Turbo that will arrive in showrooms in the third quarter.
Lack of stock from Hungarian factory has impacted Suzuki Vitara sales since launch
7 March 2016
SUZUKI Australia's local boss says the company is working through the supply
issues it has encountered since the launch of its reborn Vitara small SUV, and
that it anticipates better stock of the forthcoming turbocharged version.
The Japanese car-maker launched the Vitara in September last year and despite
strong interest in the funky crossover, it has been hamstrung by stock
constraints from the factory in Hungary.
In its first four months on sale in 2015, Suzuki sold 1109 Vitaras – an average
of about 277 a month – but Suzuki Australia general manager Andrew Moore said
he believes the new entrant to the segment could have sold more.
“I am happy with the level of inquiry and interest in the vehicle, but there is
no doubt that the supply issues have lost us a lot of sales,” he admitted to
“I think we could have been selling 400 a month. We have been closer to 300.
But each month we have had 100-200 back orders. We are only just now starting
to have a lower number of back-orders that we can't supply in the same month.
It has only just gone below 100 at the end of last month.”
“I am happy with the reception of the vehicle but it is just a shame - I think
we could have sold a lot more if the cars were available straight away. But
that will rectify itself as we go forward.”
Mr Moore said while the supply was better now than at launch last year, he
added that some customers still face a wait to take delivery of their new
Vitara, with the longer production process for the two-tone variants pushing
wait times out.
“It depends on colour and specification. Our two-tone colours are the most
popular. There tends to be a wait list on them. Suzuki Australia has no stock.
All our stock is with dealers. Every car that has come in, dealers have
“A lot of the models now, if customers go in, they would be looking at a few
weeks, probably maximum for most of the range. There may be some that are
immediate delivery too.”
The Vitara had a strong start to 2016, with 367 units shifted, outselling the
likes of the Ford EcoSport (249) and the Nissan Juke (216), while coming
dangerously close to outselling the Volkswagen Tiguan (410).
As previously confirmed, Suzuki will introduce the Vitara Turbo, powered by a
103kW/220Nm 1.4-litre BoosterJet four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine, in the
third quarter of the year, which will replace the naturally aspirated 1.6-litre
While Mr Moore said there would be a freer supply of Vitara Turbo compared with
when the initial Vitara launched, he said he thinks there would still be a wait.
Mr Moore said there would be a promotional focus on the Vitara Turbo when it
arrives later in the year.
“Our aim is to make it the hero vehicle of our marketing. We will promote the
entire range but really it is going to be the lead car for us.”
He also said it was difficult to predict what percentage of sales the Turbo
would make up, but added that the company was confident it will be a popular
“We are looking at it being between 35 to maybe 50 per cent of sales. It's a
tricky one to know for Suzuki, a lot of our vehicles are closer to $20,000 than
$30,000, obviously the Turbo is the upper-spec vehicle.
“But it is a fantastic engine and has amazing fuel economy and in that segment
people tend to spend closer to $30,000 so we think, for the segment, it is
probably right. It is just a bit of a leap for Suzuki. I would like to think it
would get to 50 per cent because as a value proposition, it is outstanding.”
Another Suzuki model has been the victim of the Vitara's success, with sales of
the similarly positioned S-Cross taking a dive. Sales dropped by 60 per cent
last year compared with 2014, while its January haul of 29 units was a whopping
79.4 per cent behind the same month last year.
Mr Moore said some buyers had opted for the newer Vitara in showrooms, but also
put the S-Cross results down to a halt on sales in late January – a directive
from its Japanese parent company – over an unspecified issue reportedly
relating to the car's airbags.
“Definitely the Vitara has impacted S-Cross. A lot of customers have chosen
Vitara over S-Cross that would have probably picked an S-Cross. At the same
time we have had some customers come in on Vitara and buy S-Cross,” he said.
“We had some supply issues and our stock was a little bit aged and we had
limited colours. We have had new vehicles come through that have seen some
improvement in sales. You are probably aware of the short stop on S-Cross but
that has all been sorted out now. That impacted about four weeks worth of sales
“Longer term Vitara will definitely be the higher-volume model for us, but we
think having S-Cross provides a stronger offering to customers looking for that
size type vehicle.”