The scooter market in India has been witnessing phenomenal growth and has almost every manufacturer joining the bandwagon. As Honda leads the sales chart with the Activa range, other manufacturers too are inching closer in terms of sales by the day with Hero coming in second, followed by TVS at the third position. Following up with Honda’s success, Suzuki Motorcycle India (SMIL) is betting big on its new and upcoming scooter range to attain volumes in the Indian market. As part of its long term plan, the company will introduce six new models in the country out of which four will be scooters.
Suzuki is eyeing 7.5 lakh units of production and sales in the next three years with its motorcycle and scooter range. The manufacturer is looking forward to an ideal mix of 35 percent motorcycles and 65 percent scooter sales, from the current mix of 80:20 in favour of scooters. Suzuki currently holds a share of 12 percent in the scooter market and sells around 3.5 lakh scooters every year. In comparison, Hero MotoCorp sells nearly twice of that number and makes for less than 1/5th of Honda’s market share in the total 3.6 million unit Indian scooter market.
Currently at fourth position, Suzuki plans to overtake erstwhile partner TVS for the third spot and is expecting the volumes to go up by 4.5-5 lakh units per annum in a couple of years. With new motorcycle products like the Gixxer lined up for launch, the sales number is expected to further increase in the future. In the meantime, Suzuki is concentrating on expanding its portfolio and most recently launched the Let’s scooter in the very popular 110cc segment. The company will also roll out new variants of the Swish and Access later this year, but do not have a 150cc scooter on the cards for India.
Currently the scooter segment has grown from 14 percent to 25 percent of the total two-wheeler market, but Suzuki is expecting the market to stabilize at around 27-28 percent. A breeze for most urban commuters, the convenience of scooters has impressed many with its practicality coupled with desirable performance. Moreover, the scooter segment has also attracted a new audience of women and college going individuals that have added significantly to the sales of scooters. Scooters have also begun to penetrate into B towns with the growing demand. Will Suzuki be able to cut through the competition? We wait for the new products to find out.