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Japan's Suzuki Motorcycles bets on India, eyes 1-bn volume by 2020

Currently, it has only two scooters models - 125-cc Access with drum brake and Access SE with disc brake

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

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File photo: Suzuki Gixxer Front Blue

Japanese two-wheeler maker Suzuki Motorcycles, which had "got on the wrong bus all these years" is betting big on now with a strategy to double the market share to 10 per cent with 1-million volume by 2020.

Suzuki Motorcycle is the largest market for the parent Suzuki Corporation and currently enjoys only about 5 per cent share in the over 17 million units a year domestic two-wheeler market dominated by and its co-patriot who between them eat up close to 70 per cent of the market pie.

Like its sister concern, that enjoys over 50 per cent of the domestic car market, even with such a low volume, is the largest market for the group.

In 2016, Suzuki managed to sell about 3,50,000 units and expects vroom past 40 per cent in sales this year to around 500,000, and 700,000 next year and 1 million in 2020, each year clocking over 40 per cent volume growth or so, says Satoshi Uchida, its managing director who took over the mantle in April 2016.

"Yes, we have not been consistent with our product and communication strategy. In fact we didn't have enough products in mass market so far. I think we had got into the wrong bus here in but now we are in the right bus and on the right route," Uchida told PTI when asked whether they had lost the bus all these years.

"We have the right strategy and plans now," he continues, "because we now know this market better. This is increasingly a market in general and no longer a commuter only market."

"We'll grow almost three times between this year and 2020, growing over 40 per cent each year. The mandate is to clock 1 million units and double the market share to 10 per cent," Uchida said.

Sajeev Rajasekharan, executive vice-president also chipped in saying there is a clear focus on the volumes now as he admitted that they have to offer more choices to customers as well.

"For this we will bringing in at least two and scooters each year. The strategy will straddle between scooters, which is the volume grosser for us now and where we will be having only 150-cc and above engine capacity."

Uchida said the company will invest at least Rs 200 crore on new products here.

Asked whether the unit which has 1 million capacity plant at Manesar in Haryana, is profitable, Uchida answered in the positive and said last year the company clocked a revenue of around Rs 3,000 crore.

Currently, it has only two scooters models — 125-cc Access with drum brake and Access SE with disc brake, while its portfolio includes the Hayate EP, six varieties of the Gixxer 150 cc bike which also is the first bike in the country with ABS. That apart it has two racing the GSX-R1000 and the imported Hayabusa.

Rajasekharan said the company enjoys 5.5 per cent market share among scooters and around 5 per cent amongst

In the first half of the current fiscal, he said the volumes soared 65 per cent from 160,000 to 242,000 while sales have also been very good.

It also ships made models to Latin America, Africa and Saarc regions and more importantly to the parental home market of Japan where it sold 1000 Gixxer last year.

While in H1 last year export volume was 35,000 this year it inched up to 36,000 units only, Uchida said.

First Published: Sun, October 08 2017. 16:49 IST