Suzuki Intruder 155 image for reference.
Suzuki is one of the few two wheeler manufacturers in the country who has posted increase in sales during the slowdown. But, due to the ongoing slowdown and uncertainties over future sales volume post BS-VI implementation, Suzuki Motorcycle India has decided not to invest in second manufacturing plant immediately.
Instead, the Japanese brand will continue to maximize the potential of its existing Gurgaon facility which is currently running at 80% utilization and is estimated to be adequate enough for at least two more years. While the new plant strategy has been put on hold, the company is planning to strengthen its presence in the medium displacement segment.
Speaking to Moneycontrol, Satoshi Uchida, managing officer deputy executive general manager in charge of marketing and India, Motorcycle Company, Suzuki Motor Corporation revealed that a new 250 cc motorcycle for India is being developed in Japan but Suzuki is yet to decide whether it is going to be an adventure tourer or cruiser.
Suzuki recently forayed into the Indian quarter liter segment with the Gixxer SF and Gixxer 250 models. With KTM 250 Adventure on the horizon, a 250 cc adventure tourer from Suzuki would be an interesting proposition. A medium displacement cruiser (Intruder 250) would also garner good attention in our market.
The top official neither discussed the launch timeline nor the technical specifications of the 250 cc product in question. It is reasonable to assume that the upcoming motorcycle will share its engine and most of its running gear from the existing Gixxer 250 twins to keep the costs competitive. The gearbox is expected to be tweaked for enhanced touring capability.
Currently, India contributes to around 40% of Suzuki's global two wheeler sales and the company wants to increase it to 50% in the foreseeable future. The new product launches in the mid-premium and premium spaces are expected to drive the growth. Mr. Uchida also stated that the company is studying the premium scooter space (150 cc+) and is likely to add another 125 cc automatic scooter offering to its lineup by 2021.
Considering that competitors have firm hold on entry level motorcycle and scooter segments (100-110 cc), Suzuki's strategy to concentrate on higher segments seems to be a logical move. The company is also looking at introducing bigger-than-250-cc bikes in the future through a new brand.