The Suzuki Swift hatchback, sold as the Maruti Swift, in India has notched a new sales milestone of 6 million sales globally. The landmark comes 13 years and 3 months after it was first launched.
Launched first in Japan in November 2004, the Suzuki Swift was conceptualised as a global strategic model, later going on to establish a strong footprint in 158 countries and regions worldwide, including that in Europe, India, Hungary, China and Thailand.
The Swift took no time to gel well to the needs as well as click with hearts of buyers the world over, with its host of fun-to-drive yet practical drivetrain options including an AllGrip four-wheel drive version in Europe as well.
While the 3 million sales milestone came up in January 2013 (8 years and 2 months since launch), it almost surged with full boost to the next 3 million, which came up in five years flat in February 2018, to surpass the cumulative six million milestone.
India is the biggest contributor to Swift sales globally with the world's fourth largest PV market accountinf for over 45 percent of the 6 million sales. Japan has contributed to roughly 13 percent of the Swift's global sales tally, while 23 percent is from Europe until 2013.
Swiftly captivating India
While the Swift was first showcased in India at the 2004 Auto Expo, as the revolutionary 'Concept-S’, it was later introduced in the country in May 2005, and became an instant hit, completely changing the market dynamics with its range of high-end features like an automatic climate control system, dual airbags and ABS, as well as alloy wheels in its top-spec trim, all being introduced in the segment for the very first time.
Where the first-generation Swift was only offered with a 1.3-litre petrol motor at the outset, Maruti Suzuki India, parent Suzuki's Indian JV-arm, later also introduced a Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre diesel engine into the car as an option in 2007, and the decision went on to immediately give wings to its sails in India. Indian motorists had just got what they had always desired -- a frugal, fun and easy-on-the-wallet family hatchback.
With the second-generation car being introduced in 2011, and the hatchback also growing in dimensions and personality, the Swift went on to command the position of being the second best-selling model in Maruti Suzuki India’s expansive portfolio in the country, averaging close to 20,000 units every month.
With emission norms getting stricter by the day, Suzuki had to plonk a brand-new downsized 1.2-litre petrol motor in the new avatar to conform to the BS IV regulations, albeit, the diesel motor continues to remain the same even today.
Carving a brand image that's almost indestructible, the Swift has become a ubiquitous choice in the B+ compact hatchback space in the present day, and with the third-generation Swift getting introduced at the 2018 Auto Expo, the car is a success mantra for India's largest carmaker, which is now also acting as a merchant exporter, beginning exports of the third-gen Swift to South Africa from Suzuki Motor Corporation’s fully-owned 250,000 units capacity plant in Gujarat this April.
Suzuki Motor Corporation is the eighth largest car brand in the world with sales of 3,160,000 units in FY2017.
Change is the only constant and it seems Suzuki has stuck to that philosophy very well, consistently moulding the Swift to cater to the dynamic needs of consumers as times move on. The car is already offered with a 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol motor, a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol motor as well in the Swift Sport variant, aimed at enthusiasts in Europe. Japan also sees it getting Suzuki's Smart Hybrid (SHVS) mild-hybrid technology, coupled with the 1.2-litre Dualjet motor.
So, is there room for more Swift variants in India even now? As they say, never say never. The carmaker could be plotting another swift move.
Also read: Top 10 Passenger Vehicles – April 2018 | Maruti Swift and Dzire pack a punch and more