Suzuki is expecting to grow its volume and market share in 2021 despite the concerns around Brexit and COVID-19, with a trio of new models backing up a move to become the first manufacturer offering mild hybrid powertrains across its entire line-up.
By the end of this year, the brand will benefit from a tie-up with Toyota to launch two new products, a plug-in hybrid SUV called Across, based on Toyota’s Rav4 PHEV, and an as-yet unnamed lower medium estate based on the Toyota Corolla ‘self-charging’ hybrid and to be built in the UK. The company has also confirmed that the Jimny off-road model, which is currently on run-out in passenger form with the last cars now out with dealers, will resurface in 2021 as a light commercial vehicle.
The Across will be Suzuki’s first plug-in hybrid, and the brand is expecting demand to outstrip the supply of up to 1,000 units for 2021. The model will offer a 46-mile range and 22g/km CO2 figures, as well as a six-second 0-62mph time, and come in just one highly-specced trim level. Prices will be announced shortly. “We anticipate demand in excess of supply and it will be our job to manage the customer experience and maximise positive exposure,” said Suzuki’s head of product and planning Ed Norman.
The Jimny commercial is a response to customer demand, and will sell in “low volumes”, according to the brand. “We know what our customers would like to have and it is a market lacking such a vehicle,” said Norman. “This is in response to that commercial requirement.”
The company has also updated its four existing models, with
a styling revamp for the Ignis and Swift small cars alongside powertrain changes for the S-Cross and Vitara SUVs, including the introduction of either 12V or 48V mild hybrid technology, depending on model.
The new models will aid Suzuki’s quest to mitigate its CO2-related fines under the targets that come into effect at the end of this year. “Like all manufacturers we have a tough CO2 target to hit and we want to minimize our fine, so we are in the process of running out dome models and introducing some new ones that are fine-compliant,” said Suzuki UK director of Automobile Dale Wyatt.
The brand is 7,000 sales down on its 2020 predicted volume due to the lockdown, and is now aiming for 23,000 registrations this year, having been “investing hugely” in its digital and CRM operations due to the pandemic.