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Suzuki hatching up to 10 new dealerships

Konichiwa: A new Customer Welcome Hub will add a more modern and interactive welcome for customers visiting a Suzuki dealership over the coming months.

Customer Welcome Hub coming to Suzuki’s growing dealership network

19 Jan 2017

SUZUKI has nearly finished laying the building blocks for its expanded national dealer network, establishing the vital infrastructure and capacity it needs to hit its 30,000 Australian sales goal by 2018.

With a steady stream of new products now underway including the popular Vitara and more recent Ignis SUVs, the Japanese car-maker says reaching its ambitious target is now “a lot more achievable” and the network of 87 dealerships are charged with making it happen.

The network will continue to expand over the coming years with up to 10 new locations springing up between now and 2020, with most of the new sites covering more remote rural catchments, while some less efficient urban outlets have been culled.

Suzuki Australia general manager Andrew Moore told GoAuto that the dealership network was nearing an optimum point for the companies growth strategy.

“We don’t need to go from 87 dealers to 140,” he said. “We’ve got 87 dealers at the moment and the aim is to grow by about five to ten in the next three or four years.

“A lot of that is rural and open areas. We’ve recently closed a couple of our metro sites.”

With the arrival of the Ignis compact crossover this week adding another model to Suzuki showroom floors, Mr Moore expects dealership traffic to increase to the tune of about 400 extra sales per month, which will be a welcome sight for some quieter locations.

“Some of our fringe dealers need a bit more volume,” he said. “In the outer suburbs, the volume that some of the dealers are selling struggles to sustain an exclusive team. They need to be 15 to 20 per cent more volume.”

In addition to the wider range of Suzuki models drawing in a larger audience, the company is also rolling out a modernised customer experience for each location that will appeal to younger customers as well as existing ones.

“We’re developing a thing at the moment called the Customer Welcome Hub, which is a bit like an Apple bench in mobile phone stores to create a more user-friendly youthful experience,” said Mr Moore.

“We’ve just done a prototype and something we will be finalising, in the next six months we’ll aim to have about half of the dealers rolled-out. It’s a key thing we are working on.”

Suzuki finished up 2016 with 19,495 Australian sales with a majority of those thanks to the consistently popular Swift small hatchback, which accounted for 8372.

In second place was its Vitara small SUV which managed 5713 registrations and Mr Moore says the freshly-introduced Ignis can perform as well, if not better.

If it equals the Vitara tally, the company could finish up this year with a figure around the 25,000 mark, closing in on its overall target, although Suzuki has not said if it intends to launch any additional models that could invigorate sales further.

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