Suzuki eyes 1 mn annual 2-wheeler sales in India by 2020

Japanese automobile major Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) is looking to sell one million two-wheelers annually in India, a key market under its new mid-term management plan. The company, which today launched an all-new version of flagship scooter model Suzuki Access 125 priced at Rs 53,887 (ex-showroom Delhi), will be focussing on premium scooters and motorcycles to achieve its target.

“India is one of the most important markets for Suzuki’s two-wheeler business. We are looking to sell one million units annually by 2020,” SMC’s subsidiary Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (SMIPL) outgoing Managing Director Masayoshi Ito told reporters here.

In the ongoing fiscal, the company looks to sell 3.2 lakh units in India as against 3.45 lakh units in the previous fiscal, down 7.24 per cent.

“This decline was mainly because we adjusted production of the Access ahead of the launch of the new version,” he said.

Bullish on the Indian market, Ito, who will take over as global head of Suzuki’s motorcycles business, further said “although the target for 2020 is stiff, we are confident we will be able to do it as the scooter segment is fast growing in India”.

“Our focus will be on premium scooters and motorcycles as there is stiff competition in mass market segment,” he added.

The company plans to launch new models in the 125cc and above category in scooters, while in bikes its focus will be in the 150cc and above category.

“It is difficult to say how many models we will launch by 2020 but we will consider launching even 200-250cc scooters if there is demand but it will take time,” Ito said.

When asked if the company, which has an installed capacity of producing 5.4 lakh units from plant in Gurgaon, Ito said:

“Yes, to meet the one million units target we will need to but we haven’t decided on it yet. As such we can stretch the current capacity to 7 lakh units annually.”

On the new Access 125, SMIPL General Manager (Export, Sales and Dealer Development) Kenzi Hirozawa said: “We are looking to sell around 2 lakh units of the model annually.”

Launched in 2007 in India, the Access 125 has sold 2 million units in total so far. The updated model comes with various new features including front pocket, easy start system and an optional front disc brake and alloy wheels.