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India powers Suzuki H1 sales in bikes and cars

Our Bureau | Updated on November 01, 2018 Published on November 01, 2018

The focus on the premium space has paid off in 2-wheelers

The fact that India is Suzuki’s most important car market is only too well known by now. It is now its centre of gravity for two-wheelers too, where it has surged ahead of ASEAN regions that were traditionally the stronger markets.

This is apparent from Suzuki Motor Corporation’s half-yearly results, which were declared in Japan on Thursday. For the six-month period from April-September, sales of Suzuki two-wheelers in India totalled 3.31 lakh units of total global sales of 8.78 lakh units.

Of this, Asia is the biggest arena for the company with a tally of 7.20 lakh units and it is here that India’s contribution is apparent with a share of over 45 per cent.

China is next with 1.7 lakh units with the Philippines in third place at one lakh units. Indonesia accounts for just 46,000 units while Thailand is a mere 10,000 units. Beyond Asia, the trio of Japan, Europe and North America take up a combined tally of 79,000 units.

There is absolutely no question that India’s role will grow even more rapidly in the coming years. Suzuki has already made it known that it is targeting seven lakh units for this fiscal, going up to a million two-wheelers by the end of FY 2020.

By this time, the company will have begun work on its second plant, which is likely to be in the same Gurgaon-Manesar belt in Haryana. The choice of location means that sourcing will become a lot easier considering that all Suzuki’s key vendors have their plants here.

At one time, the company was looking at the South to set up its second plant and the choice had narrowed down to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. After all, this part of the country is important for two-wheelers. But the decision to look at Gurgaon-Manesar all over again clearly means that there is a larger gameplan in place.

Either way, the resurgence in the two-wheeler business is good news for Suzuki considering that it seemed to be in a somnambulistic state since the time it split from the TVS group in 2001. All the attention was clearly on cars where it was, and continues to be, the market leader by miles.

There seemed to be no indication of a strategy and it is only in recent times that the company has decided to focus on premium bikes and scooters to take the India story forward. The efforts are clearly paying off with the Access 125 now leading the way in the revival script with more exciting products to follow.

As for cars, the first half results show India leading the way globally for Suzuki with 9.19 lakh units sold of the total tally of 1.7 million, a share of 54 per cent. Japan is next with 3.49 lakh units while Europe is in third place with 1.39 lakh units.

Yet, there are some areas of concern on high fuel prices in India, which could affect buying sentiment, be it in two-wheelers or cars.

Published on November 01, 2018
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