Suzuki, renowned for its record-breaking sales figures, has clinched another achievement, this time with its beloved Jimny.
Hundreds of Suzuki Jimny owners from across southern Africa flocked to Clarens in the Free State for a Suzuki festival. This grand event marked not only a celebration of Suzuki, but also the setting of a Guinness World Record.
Over the past long weekend, Langkranz Farm near Clarens played host to the first-ever Suzuki Safari Town Festival and Jimny Gathering. This momentous occasion, exactly one year after Suzuki Auto South Africa expressed its desire to unite Jimny owners and brand enthusiasts, drew over 800 Jimny (and SJ, Samurai, and LJ) owners.
The event included the Jimny Gathering at Langkranz, which spanned from Friday to Sunday, September 22 to 24, and a lively Suzuki Safari Town Festival at the Clarens Town Square on Saturday September 23.
One of the highlights of the Jimny Gathering was the presence of Hisanori Matsushima, the manager of the Automobile Styling Department of Suzuki Motor Corporation. Matsushima-san, known for designing the globally acclaimed Jimny, had the honour of seeing his creation named the Urban Car of the Year at the World Car of the Year Awards in 2019. He also played a role in designing the new five-door Jimny.
Brendon Carpenter, the brand marketing manager of Suzuki Auto, commented on the privilege of hosting Matsushima-san and introducing him to South African Jimny fans. He highlighted how Jimny enthusiasts use the vehicle to explore the picturesque corners of the country.
The surprise highlight of the event was a Guinness World Record attempt. On Sunday, all attending Jimny owners collaborated to set a new world record for the most vehicles simultaneously turning on their lights. This record-breaking feat also welcomed SJ, LJ, and Samurai owners.
An official representative from the Guinness World Records confirmed the success of the attempt, with 787 Suzuki vehicles simultaneously illuminating their headlights. This achievement was timed to honour both Suzuki Jimny heritage and South African heritage on Heritage Day and was narrated by local comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout.
The festival also saw the introduction of the new five-door Jimny, scheduled for release in South Africa in the fourth quarter of this year. This addition to the Jimny family has expanded its appeal in countries where it is already available.
Carpenter says, “It was quite a weekend! We left having set a new world record, we met great Suzuki owners, we rocked the town with some great music and, perhaps most importantly, we showed the world what a lekker group of people Suzuki owners are!”