New models - Suzuki - Alto
Suzuki goes snap with ESC for Alto
Alto matches new rivals with stability control as Suzuki ramps up safety, value
24 Nov 2010
SUZUKI Australia has added electronic stability control (ESC) to its entry-level Alto light car range to match the newly arrived Nissan Micra and Holden Barina Spark.
However, Suzuki has held the pricing of the 1.0-litre hatch to $12,490 driveaway for the GL five-speed manual and $13,990 driveaway for the four-speed automatic – $1491 cheaper than the Holden and Nissan equivalents.
Despite the addition of ESC to the current safety complement of six airbags and ABS, Suzuki expects the Alto’s four-star safety rating to remain unchanged.
Suzuki Australia general manager Tony Devers said that unlike some of Suzuki’s competitors, it had included the potentially life-saving technology at no extra charge to customers.
“At just $12,490 driveaway for the five-speed manual, there is no car that matches the Alto’s combination of four-star safety – including six airbags – and value,” he said.
The driveaway pricing is $700 over the manufacturer’s list price of $11,790 for the base Alto GL manual.
As well as the safety features, Indian-made Alto GL comes standard with tacho, body-coloured door handles and external mirrors and driver’s seat height adjustment.
The GLX adds alloy wheels and fog lamps and maintains its $12,990 driveaway price tag for the five-speed manual and $14,490 for the four-speed automatic version.
Australia is believed to be the first market to get ESC across the Alto range, although it is offered on upper models in other markets such as the UK.
ESC will be mandatory on all new passenger cars introduced in Australia from November 1, 2011, although current models will be allowed to continue without it until 2013.
Next cab off the rank for Suzuki Australia will be its all-important new Swift, which is scheduled to lob in Australia in the first quarter of 2011.
A bigger body and new engine are on the list of changes for Suzuki’s top seller in this country.
So far this year, Suzuki has sold more than 10,000 Swifts in Australia for a 9.0 per cent market share of the light-car segment, compared with 3419 Altos and 3.0 per cent share.
Suzuki is also eyeing a third light car for Australia, the Splash, which would slot between the Alto and Swift. The 1.2-litre Splash, which is already on sale in Europe where it is made in Hungary, goes into production at Suzuki’s Thailand plant in 2012, making it easier for Australian sales.
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