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Rebranded SX4 launch signals Suzuki fleet attack, claims director

By Kyle Linsay
Friday, June 28, 2013 - 10:52

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SuzukiSX4S-Cross

REBRAND: New SX4 vastly different

Suzuki are launching their new SX4 – re-branded as the SX4 S-Cross – in an attempt to capitalise on their recent fleet sector success, a UK director has claimed.

The new model, on sale from October 1, spearheads the brand’s attack on the fleet sector, which currently accounts for around 40% of sales.

Suzuki plan to boost this to more than 70%, led by motability and contract hire.

Vastly different from the outgoing model, the S-Cross is bigger than its predecessor, particularly in the rear and the boot.

Prices will be announced in July, but the range is expected to start at around £15,000 for the five-speed transmission, two-wheel-drive 1.6-litre petrol SZ3.

Diesel versions will likely carry a £2,000 premium.

Dale Wyatt, Sales and Marketing Director of Suzuki UK, said the company needed to create a bigger car to respond to customer expectations.

“The S-Cross will allow us to focus more on fleet and to generate an increase in sales of around 20% over the next couple of years,” he told headlineauto.

“The crossover segment has become important as customers are looking for the versatility of an MPV but want the less boxy looks of something like a people carrier.

“If you put your purchase on a matrix, the SX4 really does tick all the boxes on space, performance, price emissions and safety, we are confident of getting a 5-star NCAP rating which is better than the outgoing model.”

The crossover segment has gone from zero in 2006 to an expected 151,000 this year, kicked off by the Nissan Qasqai in 2007.

Mr Wyatt described the SX4 as a ‘trigger’, helping push Suzuki through the 30,000 sales a year mark, up from just under 25,000 last year.

Other new models on the horizon are a new Alto, a B-segment SUV and a small family car.

“We are on track with the half year sales total standing at around 17,000,” he added.

“Going forward 30,000 is a good number, I would be delighted with 35,000 and very surprised at 40,000.”

Additional reporting by headlineauto, with thanks.

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