Hopes to become a volume player

Suzuki Motorcycle is planning to launch a new mass segment motorcycle as part of its strategy to become a volume player in the Indian two-wheeler market. The strategy will be backed by a regular roll-out of bikes and scooters.

Atul Gupta, Executive Vice-President, Suzuki Motorcycle India, told this correspondent that the company would seek to consolidate its position in the mass segment with the proposed launch of a new bike. But he declined to provide details on the launch period and the engine capacity of the upcoming bike.

Suzuki Motorcycle, which was earlier focusing on high segment of motorcycle market, took a plunge into the mass bike segment with the launch of 112cc Hayate in 2012. But sales of Hyate were lower in 2013-14, when compared to 2012-13 numbers.

He admitted that company’s distribution was weak for mass segment play. The company has embarked on a drive to strengthen dealer points at Tier 2, 3 and 4 locations as presence in those locations are vital to increase volumes of mass segment bikes. “Expanded distribution beyond cities will indirectly result in higher numbers this year,” Mr. Gupta added.

The company has planned to more than double its bike sales at about 1.3 lakh units by the end of this fiscal when compared to 60,000 units in 2013-14, supported by new launches and expanded network.

The 110cc-and-below segment accounted for about 65 per cent of total motorcycle market in the country in 2013-14. Suzuki Motorcycle intends to boost its presence in this segment with expanded offerings.

The major players in this category are now Hero, Bajaj and Honda Motorcycle. TVS Motor has just rolled out a new 110cc bike to strengthen its position. Among the new players, Honda has been making strong inroads in this segment.

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