Suzuki Motorcycle India is planning to cash in on the "demand of Indian model" in global markets as it looks to boost exports to developed markets, including Japan and New Zealand, according to a top company official. While the company's exports had dipped last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is looking to increase shipments this year as most of the international markets where it sells its products have recovered.
"If you look at all the world, the demand for Indian models is increasing drastically. So, we have to catch up with such kind of demand as soon as possible. So, we are very positive about our future exports plan," Suzuki Motorcycle India (SMIPL) Company Head Satoshi Uchida said.
He said the company is currently focussing on markets in Latin America, Japan, South East Asia and neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.
On the prospects of the company's exports picking up again, Uchida said, "Because of COVId-19, outside India also suffered. So, we had reduced our exports last year. This year some countries have already started recovering. So, we hope we can increase our export sales".
In 2020-21, SMIPL's exports were down 33.09 per cent at 70,369 units as compared to 1,05,164 units in 2019-20.
Elaborating on the company's exports, SMIPL Vice-President, Sales, Marketing and After Sales, Devashish Handa said, "We are very bullish on exports. Throughout the last year, our order book was far exceeding what we could supply. That situation continues even now".
However, he said, in March and April, the situation had improved.
This month because of the oxygen-led disruptions in the supply chain, he said, "Everybody will make less. So, this month may be an aberration, but next month onwards, we expect a similar situation to come about again".
Stating that the company is hoping to cross the one lakh unit exports mark again, Handa said, "Now, we are increasingly exporting to some newer and developed markets such as Japan, New Zealand and South Africa".
The company's main markets continue to be Bangladesh in South Asia, Colombia and Mexico in Latin America.
Asked if there are plans to export to Africa, Uchida said, "In the case of the African market, we need a little bit more time. We are focussing on big premium products ...Africa is still a commuting market. We don't have a commuting model right now. So, we have to focus on premium customers".
He, however, said the company "cannot forecast so many premium customers" in Africa at present, but "we have to prepare for the future African market".
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