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Suzuki boss: ‘Maintaining a 50 percent market share in India will be a big challenge’

Hormazd Sorabjee
Toshihiro Suzuki, president of Suzuki Motor Corporation

Toshihiro Suzuki, president of Suzuki Motor Corporation, has affirmed that the jewel in its crown – Maruti Suzuki India, which is its largest overseas production hub and also its largest sales volume contributor – is currently experiencing tough times. Speaking at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show and commenting on the Indian passenger vehicle market, the company boss said: “The India market is very special to us. We will try to keep a 50 percent market share, but it will be a big challenge.”   

For the April-September 2019 period, Maruti Suzuki India’s passenger vehicle (PV) market share has dipped a shade below the 50 percent mark and currently stands at 49.77 percent. In the first-half of FY2020, the carmaker sold a total of 6,63,522 PVs, down 27 percent year-on-year (YoY) (H1 FY2018: 9,08,801) – a performance which is reflective of the continuing downturn in the Indian PV market, down 24 percent YoY, and also the rising competition that now includes new brands like Kia and MG.

The Suzuki Motor Corporation chief suggested that having a 50 percent PV market share in a key market like India is unusual in the automobile industry, and holding onto this position is difficult for any vehicle manufacturer, particularly at a time when the industry worldwide is tackling technological disruptions and tepid customer buying.

Referring to a couple of carmakers in key global markets, Toshihiro Suzuki said: “GM in the US is maybe 16 percent, Volkswagen in Europe is in the same situation. So, I would like to keep a 50 percent share,” seemingly resigned to the fact that Maruti Suzuki India’s PV share could reduce from its present position, in the future.   

At the Tokyo Motor Show, Suzuki Motor Corp is showcasing the Waku SPO personal compact PHEV, Hustler mini-crossover wagon concept and the Hanare autonomous driving mobile room.