Suzuki India has set its eyes on the rural market as it targets breaching the one million mark for two-wheelers sales in India. This milestone would place it firmly in the top three two-wheeler manufacturers in the country, after Hero MotoCorp and Honda.
To achieve this target, Suzuki plans to gradually increase its production capacity at its only facility in Gurgaon. Last year, the facility had a capacity of producing four lakh units annually which is being expanded to 5.4 lakh units now. Suzuki has so far invested Rs 554 crore into the facility.
Atul Gupta, Executive Vice-President (Sales and Marketing), Suzuki Motorcycle India, saidthat the capacity will be increased up to one million in three years time. “In the next 24-36 months, we should be able to reach the one million mark annually. In order to achieve it, we would need more models. We will have another mass market bike in the 100cc segment within the next 18 months," he added.
Besides ramping up the production, Suzuki also plans to expand its dealer network, specifically in rural areas. The company currently has 400 dealers in urban and 200 in rural areas and is considering 400 more by the end of 2015, 300 of which would be in the rural markets. Talking to PTI about the rural market scene, Mr. Gupta said, "We have a strong distribution network in the urban areas now but not so strong in rural areas. We need to have a robust network to sell our mass market product like the Hayate (bike).”
Suzuki had displayed its entire two-wheeler lineup at the Auto Expo which includes the Hayate, GSR150R, SlingShot Plus, Access and the Swish. It also displayed the newly unveiled motorcycles, the V-Strom 1000, Inazuma, Gixxer and Let's.