Having stepped out of the US market, Suzuki, the king of small cars, has now decided to focus on markets such as India, where the demand for its small cars is ever on the rise.
The Economic Times reports that Osamu Suzuki, chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation, is scheduled to visit India on March 15 to push the giant car company’s strategies for 2013. Suzuki, who usually visits India only in September to attend the company’s annual general body meeting, is now keen on visiting India several times as he has shifted his focus from large cars to small fuel-efficient cars, which have a huge demand in India.
A New York Times report, which supplies several reasons for Suzuki’s failure in the US, says that the company’s withdrawal from the US market was inevitable. The company’s small cars just did not appeal to US consumers, who have a fondness for larger, safer models. Suzuki’s subsidiary in the US filed for bankruptcy, showing a debt of $346 million, and the company claimed that it has decided to pull out of the US market because of several factors, including poor sales and high maintenance costs.
When he last visited India, Osamu Suzuki met top Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. executives and presented a 5-year plan to launch 10 new cars. While these models would be manufactured in India, they would be exported and sold in different parts of the world. He stated that his experiences in the US have made him shift his focus from the large car market to the small-car market. Suzuki’s global strategy for 2013 also includes a major shift of focus from the developed countries to emerging Asian markets, including India.
Suzuki’s preference for India is quite understandable considering the fact that Maruti Suzuki manufactures 37 percent of Suzuki’s total output of cars. In 2012, Maruti produced 10.6 lakh of the total number of 2,893,602 cars Suzuki produced all over the world. Indians purchased around 45 percent of Suzuki’s Swift cars, a model that was launched in 2004. This clearly indicates that India is one of the hottest markets for Suzuki’s latest models.
Maruti Suzuki also has plans to construct a $728 million factory in Gujarat, and according to Chairman R. C. Bhargava, a proposal regarding the same will be presented at the board meeting scheduled to be held next month. This will be the third Maruti Suzuki factory in India as the car maker already has two factories in Haryana. The company had to deal with labor unrest at its plant in Mansear, Haryana for the major part of 2012.