Tokyo: Suzuki Motor Corp. quadrupled its annual operating profit forecast on Monday as sales soared in its main Indian market, setting it apart from other Japanese auto makers that have depended heavily on the sinking US market.
Bright outlook: A Maruti Suzuki showroom in New Delhi. Suzuki expects a net profit of 15 billion yen instead of 5 billion yen. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
Suzuki, like South Korean rival Hyundai Motor Co., has benefited from a global shift in consumer preference towards smaller cars.
Both car makers’ huge presence in India, where the economy’s resilience and tax incentives have brought demand back for cars, has helped them weather the storm better than most in the industry.
Suzuki, Japan’s fourth biggest auto maker, raised its operating profit outlook to 40 billion yen (around Rs2,091 crore) for the year to March, from an initial forecast of 10 billion yen.
It now expects a net profit of 15 billion yen instead of 5 billion yen.
Consensus forecasts from 16 brokerages put Suzuki’s operating profit for the year at 46.6 billion yen, and net profit at 22.8 billion yen.
Earlier, Daihatsu Motor Co., the mini-vehicle unit of Toyota Motor Corp., and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, maker of Subaru cars, also raised their full-year forecasts after better-than-anticipated six-month results.
For July-September, Suzuki, known for its Swift and Alto hatchback cars, reported a 7.1% fall in operating profit to 24.98 billion yen from the second quarter last year, as global sales volumes decreased and the yen rose against the dollar.
Last week, Suzuki’s Indian unit, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, reported a near doubling in quarterly net profit, also powered by brisk exports to Europe.
Shares of Suzuki lost 3.5% in the second quarter, underperforming Tokyo’s transport sector subindex, which was flat.