Business / Corporate

Suzuki's Indian units expect demand for their vehicles in Japan

Nna/kyodo

Suzuki Motor Corp.’s two Indian subsidiaries are expecting a positive response from “quality-conscious” customers as they seek to export vehicles to Japan.

Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd., which announced the export of its first India-built motorcycle Gixxer to Japan last week, said its first consignment of 720 units was intended to gauge market response and that it is planning to export more.

“The high expectations of Japanese customers for motorcycles’ quality and performance might pose a challenge for us, but we are making sure we meet their requirements,” Satoshi Uchida, managing director of Suzuki Motorcycle India, said in an email. “The export of made-in-India vehicles to Japan denotes the high-quality benchmarks established by the company.”

Uchida said the move to export from India is part of the company’s plan to globally develop manufacturing hubs and achieve sustainable growth. “We will accelerate our exports from the Suzuki Motorcycle India plant,” he added.

Another Suzuki subsidiary, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., which started exporting its Baleno premium hatchback to Japan last year, said it is focusing on maintaining the quality of the product to gain traction in the market.

“We are aware of the challenges foreign-made products face in Japan. It is important to maintain product quality to match Japanese customers’ expectations, which we are doing, and we are very positive about the market response,” Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and CEO, said in an interview after the launch of the compact vehicle Ignis on Jan. 13.

Industry experts believe Suzuki’s made-in-India vehicles may face challenges in Japan’s highly competitive market.

“Vehicles produced overseas and imported to Japan have not been very successful,” said Yoshiaki Kawano, manager for Japan/Korea vehicle sales forecasts at IHS Automotive.

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