New Delhi: Indian two-wheeler market is set to witness more competition with Japanese firm Suzuki planning to roll out a 125cc scooter by September 2007, a 150cc motorcycle and its flagship pro bike Hayabusa by March 2008.
“We are aiming to plug the gap between 100cc and 150cc segment in scooters. By September, we plan to launch a 125cc variometric scooter,” Atul Gupta, Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (SMIPL) Vice-President Sales and Marketing, told PTI.
He said the scooters from Suzuki would be positioned as a family vehicle through its “powerful features and high mileage as USP”, while still targeting the youth.
“This segment has not been tapped by anyone and we see a potential in that segment,” he said, adding the company expected scooters to contribute about 20% in its overall target of 1.2-1.3 lakh units in 2007-08.
On the motorcycle front, Gupta said the company was looking at bringing high powered bikes, starting with a new 150cc model to compete with the likes of Bajaj Pulsar and Hero Honda’s CBZ Xtreme by March 2008 to add a youth-driven product in its portfolio.
Gupta also said launching of super premium bikes from the stable of Suzuki in India was very much a possibility in the near future with the government’s relaxation of norms for importing 800cc-and-above bikes.
“If all the aspects go well, including our own service and spare parts, then the likes of Hayabusa (1,300cc) and GXR (1,000 cc) could be brought in here by March 2008,” he said.
Gupta said Suzuki Motorcycle India was currently focusing on consolidating its sales network and production capacity before it can position itself to give serious competition to the market leaders.
“We are currently adding about 10 dealers a month and by March 2008 we should have about 210-220 dealers, up from the current 125,” he said.
The company has also been steadily increasing its production capacity, which will be ramped up to 1.7 lakh units per year by early next year from the present one lakh units.
Asked about the company’s plans for the 100cc entry level motorcycle segment, he said Suzuki would focus more on pricing and not on the engine capacity.
“The segment is more price and mileage driven than the capacity of engine. Customers generally look at a price point of Rs35,000. We would extend our presence in the segment through our existing 125 cc bike Heat,” Gupta said.
Commenting on the company’s export plans, he said SMIPL is looking at new markets in neighbouring countries, such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, while it is already shipping products to Nepal.