Suzuki Motorcycle India Looking To Ramp Up Exports For Developed Markets
With COVID-19 hitting the automotive sector hard and that too for over a year, many manufacturers have are now looking to generate revenue by increasing exports. We have seen that for companies like TVS and Bajaj Auto, who have stepped up their exports significantly over the last few months. Bajaj in fact, has exported more units than what it sold in the domestic market in April and May 2021. Similarly, Suzuki Motorcycle India plans to boost exports in various global markets which include Japan and New Zealand. In fact, Suzuki already sells the India-made Gixxer 250 motorcycles in its home market of Japan.
While the company’s exports had dipped last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Suzuki is looking to increase shipments this year as most of the international markets where it sells its products have recovered to a large extent from the pandemic. A top company official said that Suzuki is currently focussing on markets like Latin America, Japan, South East Asia and few neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.
“If you look at all the world, the demand for Indian models is increasing drastically. So, we have to catch up with such kind of demand as soon as possible. So, we are very positive about our future exports plan,” Suzuki Motorcycle India (SMIPL) Company Head Satoshi Uchida said.
On the prospects of the company’s exports picking up again, Uchida said, “Because of COVID-19, outside India also suffered. So, we had reduced our exports last year. This year some countries have already started recovering. So, we hope we can increase our export sales”. In 2020-21, SMIPL’s exports were down 33.09 per cent at 70,369 units as compared to 105,164 units in 2019-20.
Elaborating on the company’s exports, SMIPL Vice-President, Sales, Marketing and After Sales, Devashish Handa said, “We are very bullish on exports. Throughout the last year, our order book was far exceeding what we could supply. That situation continues even now”.
This month because of the oxygen-led disruptions in the supply chain, he said, “Everybody will make less. So, this month may be an aberration, but next month onwards, we expect a similar situation to come about again”. Stating that the company is hoping to cross the one lakh unit exports mark again, Handa said, “Now, we are increasingly exporting to some newer and developed markets such as Japan, New Zealand and South Africa”. The company’s main markets continue to be Bangladesh in South Asia, Colombia and Mexico in Latin America.
One of the big two-wheeler markets globally is Africa but Suzuki plans to hold off exports there for now. Uchida said, “In the case of the African market, we need a little bit more time. We are focussing on big premium products. Africa is still a commuting market. We don’t have a commuting model right now. So, we have to focus on premium customers”.