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According to the Times of India, two-wheeler brands are turning away from mass market and commuter motorcycle segments for focus on higher displacement premium and lifestyle motorcycles. Yamaha made the move some time ago, and now, Japan based moto giant Suzuki has announced that they will move away from the commuter segment and concentrate on retailing premium and performance machines in the country.
Suzuki launched the Gixxer SF 250 at a price tag of Rs 1.7 lakh ex-showroom (India) on Monday, and will now focus on higher value, higher displacement products. Devashish Handa, Vice President, Marketing, Suzuki Motorcycle India, said, "As part of our clear cut new product strategy, all our new motorcycle introductions will be greater than 150 cc displacement starting from Gixxer SF250 onward."
Mr Handa explained, "All new product introductions will be higher than this category and we do not intend to be in the commuter part of the market at all. We would like to satisfy the aspirational and passion need of the customer instead of functional needs."
When asked what this meant in terms of product strategy, Mr Handa said, "In the short term (this year and next) we would be targeting the sports motorcycle category to customers who want another option from say a Bajaj Pulsar 220F or a Yamaha Fazer 25. We are looking at a customer who is young and urban because in terms of network, 50% of our 500 dealerships are in metro or tier 1 cities."
All products that Suzuki have launched over the last year are performance oriented, including the recently launched Suzuki Gixxer SF 155, and the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250. In fact, Suzuki has stopped manufacturing some of it's well known models like the Hayate.
Mr Handa said, "All our introductions will be higher up the value chain. That goes for both the shooters and the motorcycle launches. Going ahead we will introduce two products every year in scooters and bikes and all these will be upwards of where we are now in terms of engine displacement."
The idea behind Suzuki's decision is to tap the hungry sport biker markets. Mr Handa said, "We are looking at someone who already knows something about sports bikes and is not a novice. That hold true as much for the 250cc segment as it does for higher displacement bikes like the GSX S750, the GSX R1000 or the V Strom 650. Going forward, we would want to have an increased play in cruiser bikes."
Thoughts About Suzuki Moving Away From The Commuter Motorcycle Segment
Very good move b Suzuki, and this move comes at the right time. The whole motorcycle market seems to be slowly making a shift to 'performance oriented'. This move is because the scooter segment is slowly replacing motorcycles as the preferred choice of commuting. Manufacturers realize this and have begun a transition.