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Suzuki unveils gearless scooter

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SCOOTER FORAY: Satya Sheel (left), Managing Director, Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd., with Katsumi Takata (right), Joint Managing Director, and Atul Gupta, Vice-President (Sales and Marketing), launching the company’s gearless scooter in New Delhi on Monday.
SCOOTER FORAY: Satya Sheel (left), Managing Director, Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd., with Katsumi Takata (right), Joint Managing Director, and Atul Gupta, Vice-President (Sales and Marketing), launching the company’s gearless scooter in New Delhi on Monday.

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Going public with its foray in the Indian scooter market, Japanese bike maker Suzuki Motorcycle on Monday said it planned to capture four per cent share of the two-wheeler market here in the next three years on the strength of the sale of both motorcycles and scooters.

Suzuki Motorcycle India, which had already announced a Rs. 700-crore investment till 2010, will be launching two new two-wheeler models, including a 150 cc motorcycle, in the next one year.

The company had already invested Rs. 350 crore and another Rs. 150 crore would be spent on product development and other activities over the next one year, Suzuki India Managing Director, Satya Sheel, said during the media meet to mark the unveiling of its 125 cc gearless scooter ‘Access’.

He said the company was expecting to sell nearly 5,000 units a month initially and would announce the price after a pan-India rollout within two weeks.

Suzuki was targeting a four per cent share in the Indian two-wheeler market, which is expected to cross 8.5 million units by 2010.

“We plan to sell as many as 3.5 lakh units in India by 2010, which will be about four per cent of the two-wheeler market then,” he added.

“For 20 years, we have looked at motorcycles as the sole mode of semi-urban and rural transportation. We will see a paradigm shift back to the scooter market with the improvement in infrastructure,” Mr. Sheel said.

For further penetration of the Indian market, the company that now covers only 25 per cent of India through 145 dealers, would work on doubling the base over the next 18 months.

On plans to introduce its popular sports bike models, Mr. Sheel said the company would showcase the models in the next year’s Auto Expo but was categorical in admitting plans to move away from the 100 cc segment.


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