The Suzuki Swift is quickly on its way towards becoming the most popular car in the world. Already by far the most popular car in India, its sales are skyrocketing in Europe and in Japan. New Zealand, however, has really fallen in love with the vehicle, where eight different models are now available and demand seems to outpace supply.
The Suzuki Swift is turning into the car that breaks all records. It is one of the most popular cars in India, sold some 127,000 models in the United Kingdom, 1.1 million in Europe, and 5.4 million worldwide. And now, it turns out to be New Zealand’s most popular car every.
In fact, in April 2016, the five millionth Suzuki Swift was sold, almost 11 years and five months to the day it was first introduced in 2004. But the milestones keep coming for this iconic car. In fact, in 2005, it first became the top selling light car in New Zealand, and it maintained that position since then.
The very first Swift was actually developed in 1983. However, the world strategic model, which is the Swift we know today, first saw light in November 2004 and it was instantly successful. Even today, 76% of people in the United Kingdom who test drive the Swift end up purchasing it. And not just that, the vehicle has now won in excess of 60 international awards.
The compact hatchback is, in fact, so popular, that there are seven global territories in which it is produced. Furthermore, 140 different countries sell the Swift. Those sold in Japan actually come from Japan, but others are made in Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, China, India, and Hungary.
The vehicle is so popular in India that Suzuki added a diesel engine and a sedan version of the car. In India, 30% of all vehicles sold per year there are Swifts, which equals 430,000 cars. Europe is the Swift’s second favorite market, and Japan its third. Japan presented the Swift with the 2006 Most Fun to Drive in Japan prize and the 2006 RJC Car of the Year Award just a year after the Swift was first made available.
In September 2010, generation two of the global Swift was unveiled. This model became available in New Zealand in the first quarter of 2011. Demand skyrocketed almost instantly, and the Swift also won the 2011 RJC Car of the Year Award. By January 2011, over two million Swifts had been sold, leading to a new production plant opening in Thailand by March. One year later, three million vehicles had been sold.
The four millionth Swift was sold in August 2014, and the vehicle received lots more awards. This included the 2011 AMI Insurance Autocar New Zealand Small Car of the Year, the 2011 BBC Top Gear Indian Small Car of the Year, and the Wheels Australia Goldstar Award.
A representative from Suzuki says: “We are so happy that people in New Zealand fell in love with the Swift, and that this love seems to be enduring. It means a lot that this vehicle is so popular in New Zealand and in the rest of the world.”
The Swift is popular because of its style, its fun characteristics, its cheap running costs, and the fact that the ANCAP rates it five stars for safety.
In March 2016, the Swift was the bestselling New Zealand passenger car model. It was also the bestselling compact car for 2017’s first quarter.
New Zealand currently has eight different Swift models available, including automatic and manual transmissions. The Sport model is its flagship performance model, which comes with CVT with 7 speed paddle shift or 6 speed manual.