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Suzuki bucks pricing trend

Price cut: The Grand Vitara now makes for better buying after a recent price reduction.

Suzuki has lowered the price on Grand Vitara in an effort to improve its value-for-money standing

Suzuki logo26 Apr 2001

By JUSTIN LACY

SUZUKI Australia is one of the few Japanese brands not to increase prices of its models in the face of recent currency fluctuations.

The strength of the yen against the Aussie dollar has prompted most manufacturers to raise their prices, but Suzuki has actually headed in the other direction by dropping the prices on its Grand Vitara models.

Four cylinder versions of the Grand Vitara have fallen by $1000, while the V6 models have dropped by $2000.

"Our main aim (with the price changes) is to add value to the car," Suzuki Australia national operations manager David Le Motte said. Suzuki will be hoping the price cut can boost sales of the Grand Vitara at the same time, as they have slowed in the last few months and are now at their lowest point since last November.

March VFACTS sales figures showed the Daihatsu Terios and Kia Sportage outselling the Grand Vitara for the first time since late last year, although the Grand Vitara still holds a slender lead over those rivals with its year-to-date figures.

Mr Le Motte indicated the mini-slump was simply a supply issue rather than a reflection of current customer preferences in the compact all-terrain wagon segment.

"We did go through a period where we couldn't get all the cars we wanted, but now we are back on track with supply," he said.

It is likely that Suzuki is also keen to realign the Grand Vitara range before the release of the XL7 in July.

The XL7 is a stretched version of the Grand Vitara and is expected to cost around $35,000, which has previously been the territory of the top-spec Grand Vitara model.

The Japanese manufacturer has also been adjusting the pricing and positioning of the Grand Vitara in other markets in the lead-up to the XL7's launch.

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