Ten years of independent operations in India with 4% market share in motorcycles and scooters, Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Limited (SMIPL) is now looking at accelerating sales. The company has set a target to sell one million units by 2020. The company is also planning to use its vast Maruti Suzuki car dealership network in the country to start a customer referral programme to promote its two-wheelers.
“Frankly speaking, in the last ten years we have been struggling and we want to change that,” says Satoshi Uchida, MD, Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Limited (SMIPL).
Uchida, who took the charge of Indian operations eight months ago said, “We can grow much bigger than this and you will see a more aggressive company with expanded product portfolio, bigger dealer network and more promotional push in the coming year.” A 40% annual growth is what the company is looking at.
“Every year, we will launch one or two exciting products,” Uchida said. The company will also look at plugging the gap between the 150 cc and the 1,000 cc motorcycle in India. Sajeev Rajashekaran, EVP, sales and after sales, SIMPL, said one of the changes that the new MD has brought is trying to understand what is the need of the Indian market and how it needs to be treated differently. “There is a lot of learning in the last ten years and we are looking at a huge ramp up to grow at least three times of what industry is doing,” says Rajashekaran.
The company will remain focused on the middle and high end segment with the 150 cc to the 1,000 plus cc segment in the motorcycle market and the scooter market.
For plugging the gap in the channels, SIMPL will be looking at Maruti Suzuki car dealerships by offering them the two-wheeler dealerships.
There are a few such dealers already in place and about 10% of our business is coming from the car dealers, Rajashekaran said.
According to Rajashekaran, the Maruti car dealerships will have the first right to refusal for the two-wheeler dealerships.
Maruti Suzuki has 1,950 sales points across 1,590 cities and 3,254 service points across 1,540 cities in the country. SIMPL will look at riding on Maruti Suzuki’s dealer penetration in the country to expand their own network of 448 dealerships.
SMIPL recently opened two new dealerships in Pune, Dream Suzuki and Bunty Suzuki. Dream Suzuki is the first of its flagship showrooms based on new Suzuki Global Corporate Identity which will be implemented at other dealerships soon. Dream Suzuki has the entire range of domestic and international Suziki scooters, motorcycles and ATVs under one roof. The company expects to sell half a million units in FY17.