New models - Suzuki - Liana
Keen pricing for Suzuki Liana
Suzuki does an about-face and imports the Liana sedan
30 Aug 2002
By JUSTIN LACY
THE car that Suzuki said it was not going to bring to Australia, the Liana sedan, is due to go on sale here from the start of next week.
Continuing negotiations over the past six months with the factory in Japan have produced keener pricing for the sedan than was initially on offer, as well as increased specification for the hatch.
So Suzuki Australia has bolstered its existing single-model Liana small car range with higher-spec GS versions of sedan and hatch.
Suzuki shied away from the Liana sedan when it was first shown as the Aerio at the Tokyo motor show late last year, believing it would struggle to justify bringing in that model due to the hatch's keen sub-$20,000 pricing, as well as the propensity for small sedans to really only sell to fleets and older people.
But recent test marketing of the Liana sedan produced a better result than Suzuki had been expecting, making the decision somewhat easier.
The company's about-face on the Liana sedan also comes at a time when the hatchback variant is struggling to sell in the numbers the company had forecast at the vehicle's launch in November, 2001.
Sales of 2000 units were predicted for the period from launch to the end of this year, but to the end of July only 679 Lianas have been sold, averaging a rate of 75 cars per month, which is well short of the 143-unit target.
The Liana GS models are being offered with introductory pricing of $18,990 for the sedan and $19,990 for the hatch, while the base Liana model retains its $19,990 driveaway pricing.
That situation may change in around a month's time, following consultation between Suzuki Australia and its dealer network, when the base Liana will either remain a driveaway proposition or change to $17,990 plus on-road costs.
Automatic transmission still adds $1900 to the price of all Liana models, while alloy wheels and foglights remain the only options, offered as a pack for $1000.
Additional equipment offered on the GS models includes a full bodykit comprising deeper front and rear bumpers as well as side skirts, plus a three-point lap/sash seatbelt for the centre rear position.
But fundamental levels of equipment remain the same, with the 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine carried over, along with dual airbags, power windows, remote keyless entry and a CD audio system.
All Liana models have also been freshened with a revised interior featuring black trim and mouldings throughout.
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