India to anchor Suzukis global sales

Written by Ronojoy Banerjee | Ronojoy Banerjee | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 27 2010, 03:15am hrs
Japanese automaker Suzuki is banking on India to drive its global sales as the demand across the globe continues to stagnate. Chairman of Suzuki Motorcycle India Katsumi Takata told FE that the emerging markets account for roughly 50% of the companys overall global sales. China is becoming a mature market now, but it is India on the other hand that is growing rapidly. We are going scale up rapidly here, he said.

The company is also looking to make inroads into the growing motorcycle space with presence across all segments. We want to be present in every segment...for this purpose we will launch a sub-100-cc bike and a 150 plus-cc bike as well, said Atul Gupta, vice-president (sales & marketing), Suzuki. Gupta did not share the tentative price range of these bikes.

To create a niche for itself through a range of motorcycle launches, the company will invest around Rs 50 crore to increase capacity to Rs 5.4 lakh units in 2012 from the current 2.5 lakh units. Suzuki Motorcycles on Wednesday launched a 125-cc motorcycle, priced at Rs 43,945.

Gupta said that the company would also look to increase its motorcycle sales vis-a-vis scooters. Currently, our scooter sales accounts for 90% of our business. The new enhanced capacity motorcycles would constitute around 40%, he said.

The company will also look to introduce at least three new two-wheeler models by the end of the next financial year. It is also planning to step up its exports to other countries in the next few years. As of now, we only export to Nepal where we are doing around 500 units per month. Soon we will also start exporting to Sri Lanka and Bangaldesh. After that, we may also look at some of the mature markets, he said.

Gupta said the company would also look to use Marutis strong vendor base to step up sales. He added that though the company was bullish on India, it was not looking to set itself an ambitious market share, especially when the two-wheeler industry is dominated by heavyweights. We are not going to make any market share projection. We have a certain roadmap for India that we want to concentrate upon, he said.