With over 50% market share in the passenger vehicle segment, India is the largest market by volume and value for the Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC). Of late the company is losing the upper hand mainly in providing new technology products to the customers.
At the same time the Indian market is undergoing massive transformation in trends, and technologies and customer preference and choice in buying cars. The competitors, the Korean, Chinese and even the Indian car makers, have adopted electric and connected technologies.
Hyundai Motors India Limited has sold over 100,000 connected cars in India. MG Motors, Kia Motors, and Tata Motors also are providing connected technology in their compact cars to large SUVs.
SMC has been aware of its lacuna. In its mid-term review the Japanese automaker said that "during the previous mid-term management plan period, there were cases of loss of customer trust, including quality problems, frequent recalls, and fraud in fuel efficiency tests and final inspection. Moreover, many issues remain, including delays in responding to Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric (CASE) cars.
The review said, "Once again, we will return to the basics of our mission statement and take up the words of our founder: "If the customer needs something we must do whatever we can to respond. Hard work guarantees success."
Inspired by this the automaker has set goals for the next five years starting April 2021. Keeping small cars in focus, Suzuki is to concentrate on quality, electrification and software development. It has identified three priority areas: CO2 emissions in use, CO2 emissions from production, and quality assurance.
In terms of numbers, the automaker aims to achieve JPY 4.8 trillion (US$ 45.2 billion) in sales by FY25, maintain 30% or more share in the mini-car market, as well as 50% increase in compact car sales (as compared to FY2020) in Japan. In India, Suzuki will take the initiative in promoting electrification required by society in response to environmental issues in India, and maintain a market share of more than 50% in the passenger car segment.
This can be achieved by deepening its alliance with Toyota and by cooperating in electrified vehicles, African market, and supplementing products and components. It plans to introduce electric cars soon and promote penetrations of hybrids.
Apart from this the carmaker plans to increase sales outlets in rural areas to penetrate the market to create demand, allocate circuit service cars and to increase sales efficiency through digitisation.
Moreover, it will launch new cars in the SUV segment and promote CNG cars while strengthening the production capacity in line with the market growth.
The company is currently working on a mid-size SUV (internally referred to as YFG), based on the Grand Vitara platform. It is also planning to bring a compact SUV Jimny and bring back Grand Vitara.