Suzuki Australia has changed its backend processes in a bid to cut wait times for the Jimny 4×4, which in some cases continue to hover around 12 months.
The goal is to slash the typical wait by as much as half, though rampant demand isn’t abating even 2.5 years through the Jimny’s life cycle.
The company used to allocate stock to each dealer based on their respective sales performance over the preceding six months.
If a dealer was responsible for 10 per cent of the company’s sales in a region, it would receive 10 per cent of the next month’s allocation for that region.
But the rejigged process simply puts everybody who places an order in a national queue. Regardless of where they are or how their chosen dealership performed, they are the next in line to take delivery.
“This gives a greater assurance to a customer that they’re next based on where they stand in the queue,” Suzuki Australia’s general manager Michael Pachota told CarExpert this week.
“Not only will it improve our ability to secure a timeframe, it will also satisfy the customer’s understanding of when their vehicle will be due to arrive.
“… This was an issue we had where a customer would place an order at a high-volume dealer with the expectation that they would get a vehicle sooner.
“The problem with that was, that same dealer’s order bank might be huge, so by the time they get to your order, another dealer may have already called your ticket had you placed an order with them.
“The system just wasn’t clear enough. Now it’s crystal – your number in the queue means that if you were first, you’re next. Period.”
Interestingly, this process was already being used by Suzuki’s Queensland distributor, which operates as a separate business to the rest of Suzuki Australia.
When pressed on what sort of wait times buyers might reasonably expect, Pachota acknowledged back orders were still increasing due to supply levels not meeting demand, meaning some customers were still looking at 10-12 month waits.
“Not to mention, the sales rate is increasing weekly,” he added.
“With that said, we’ve secured a decent amount of production for the second half of 2021 that could see wait times reduce by half, if not better.
“If you’re thinking about placing an order on a new Jimny, the time is now. Back orders are growing, and once word gets out [about] better supply, I’d expect that to increase significantly again.”
Pachota added that Suzuki Australia might have an opportunity to increase its allocation of production from the Japanese plant, but it would be contingent on global events and demand.
“With Indian production of Jimny coming on board for some other distributors globally this year, we may see another opportunity to increase [Japanese] production [for Australia] again next year – fingers crossed!” he said.
The Suzuki brand, across all regions of Australia, holds about 2700 Jimny backorders at present.
VFACTS industry data has recorded 4373 as sold since this generation launched in early 2019.