New Suzuki Swift: Development priority on emphasizing strong points

Suzuki says that in developing the new Swift, it aimed not only to get rid of the points customers didn’t like, but also to amplify the model’s strong points. According to Suzuki’s Car, Cost Planning and Parts Product Planning Division Chief Toshiyuki Amano, the Swift’s competitor models at the time of its development were the Mazda2, Vitz and Fit in Japan, and the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio (Rush) and Peugeot 207 outside of Japan. Amano commented on this, stressing two key strong points of the Swift, saying, “A great deal of investigation showed that the Swift has a good design and its expected value scored equally well in terms of driving performance and the quality of the drive.”The weak point, he says, is its lack of storage space. “It appears that most people, especially in the Japanese market, are concerned with ease-of-use and storage space, even for compacts.”

Reflecting on the investigation’s results, Amano says, “As for the desired value of the new Swift, lack of storage space was an issue so, naturally, we considered making changes there. However, it was not considered a major priority.”

Explaining the reason, he says, “At first we focused our attention on reducing the Swift’s weak points. But in making it a car that would appeal to any demographic, we expanded on its good points and put our efforts chiefly into emphasizing the Swift’s special characteristics and surpassing customer expectations. To do that, designers really worked on making it look good. We put our effort into areas such as design, production technology, and production plants.”

Regarding driving performance, he said, “We made it lighter, which means better fuel economy and improvements in driving performance. Layout and packaging were designed to give it a better driving performance and this resulted in improvements in ease-of-use and storage space as well.”

Written by Shunichi Uchida

(Translated by Greg Scott)