Suzuki targets rural market with first 110cc bike

Suzuki targets rural market with first 110cc bike

New Delhi: Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of Japanese auto maker Suzuki Motor Corp., will launch its first 110cc motorcycle with an eye on the rural markets.

The new bike, called Hayate, will compete with TVS Motor Co.’s Star City, Hero MotoCorp Ltd’s Splendour and Passion and Bajaj Auto Ltd’s Discover.

The company expects to sell 10,000 units of Hayate every month.

“We will be increasing our capacity at Manesar plant to 5.4 million units by 2014. Besides, a new plant will be coming. An announcement with effect to that is expected in a week," said Gupta.

The new plant will need an investment of 2,000 crore in phases, Gupta said.

“So, with this, we need to reach out to more and more customers. The major challenge ahead of us is how to strengthen ourselves in a cluttered market and how to build brand loyalty. The move is aimed in that direction."

Suzuki Motorcycle has signed Bollywood actor Salman Khan as the brand ambassador for Hayate, betting on his appeal in the small towns to drive sales.

Gupta said the company spends around 8% of its net sales on marketing. The company, a late entrant in India, has 80% of its sales coming from the urban markets.

The company expects to increase its share from the rural market to 50% in three years, and double its dealership network to 500 in 18-24 months, Gupta added.

amrit.r@livemint.com

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