Suzuki Motor Corporation, incorporating both its car, outboard motor and motorcycle divisions has announced its mid-term business plan, titled ‘Suzuki Next 100’ – a five year plan that starts now and is set out until 2019. The ‘Next 100’ moniker is to coincide with the company’s 100th anniversary of foundation in 2020.
Sadly, for those hoping that a resurgent Suzuki may be returning to the motorcycle space, their goals and aims seem extremely conservative. Suzuki were hardest hit of just about all the motorcycle manufacturers when the GFC came and they’ve not come close to recovering. Suzuki’s aim is to increase total motorcycles sales in North America from an estimated 50,000 units this year to 60,000 by 2019 – a paltry increase that still puts it way behind what it was selling back in 2008/09.
In Japan, Suzuki is even more conservative stating that their ambitions are to sell the same number of motorcycles in five years as it does now. And if you thought this was all because Suzuki was focusing on growth markets like Asia, you’d be wrong. Suzuki is forecasting that they will actually sell 70,000 less units in five years in that region.
The PowerPoint presentation released to investors showed the following items relating to the motorcycle division:
- Departure from chronic deficits through selection and concentration.
- Development of products which clearly define characteristics of Suzuki (150cc and up, backbone, sport)
- Return to the origin of basic performances of “Running, Cornering, and Braking”
- Pursue fun-to-ride and easy-to-ride
- Feedback of MotoGP technologies
It’s all very pedestrian and doesn’t give us great hope that the Suzuki of old will be returning anytime soon. Given rumors of exciting new machines like the Recursion we would have expected the companies forward projections to be a little more ambitious – so perhaps instead we’ll be stuck with the same old machines that haven’t been updated for nearly a decade instead.