BSM: What are Suzuki's plans for the future in India for two wheelers?
AG: Suzuki has made its debut in the mass market and will be focusing on scooters by increasing production to meet the growing demand for these two wheelers. This does not mean that motorcycles will be ignored. We will be introducing motorcycles for the mass segment, which coupled with scooters, should bring in large volume sales for Suzuki. Now that we have launched the M800, we have plenty of products to cater to enthusiasts who are looking for motorcycles in the 800cc plus segment. Our plan is to now bridge the gap between the 100cc to the 800cc segment. On the whole, we want every customer who walks into a Suzuki showroom to find what he wants when it comes to a two wheeler, no matter what kind of segment it might belong to.
BSM: What segments do you think Suzuki should get into in the coming future?
AG: Like I had mentioned, we intend to focus on scooters and mass market motorcycles. We will be following the down-to-top approach. Once target sales volumes have been met, Suzuki will get into the more niche segments alongside.
BSM: What do you see as the future of Indian motorcycling, both in terms of straight forward commuting and recreational riding?
AG: In my opinion, there will not be much of a difference in terms of numbers. Although the offerings in the upper segment will increase once infrastructure and spending power improves (the sheer number of youth in India will help this growth too), the mass segment will still want what they want currently - efficient and value-driven commuting. Expectations from products will increase but the sheer numbers in terms of percentage will largely remain the same.
BSM: What ideology does the Hayate originate from?
AG: The Hayate is all about value for money. Whether it is buying costs or running costs, the Hayate strives to keep them at the minimal. We intend that the customer gets the best for what he is paying for, from quality to the product's fuel efficiency.
BSM: Why have two scooters - the Access and the new Swish - in the same segment? Won't the sales of one scavenge off the other?
AG: Since the time the Access was launched, it has come to be what we call a family scooter. The Access is used by everyone in the family, be it the father, mother or the young college going children. With the Swish, we intend to rope in younger riders all thanks to the new styling and other design elements. Quite frankly, it does not matter whether the Access sells more than the Swish, or the other way around, as long as the target set by Suzuki for the total scooter sales is met.
BSM: Why is Suzuki delaying plans of entering into the promising 200-250cc premium motorcycle segment, especially since the competition are already present in that area of the market?
AG: It's simple, Suzuki intends to get into the volume market for both scooters and motorcycles. Once we achieve a monthly sales figure of 50,000 to 80,000 units every month, then maybe we could look into getting into the more premium segments.