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FEEBLE RECOVERY PLAN FOR LOSS-MAKING SUZUKI

Considering that Suzuki’s motorcycle business has been suffering from falling unit sales and consistently losing money for years, investors might have expected a radical shake-up in its annual report covering the 2015-2016 financial year, published on 16 September. They were disappointed yet again, writes BDN financial editor Roger Willis.

Instead, the report repeated a well-worn mantra: “The company will strive to eliminate its loss-making structure through selection and concentration and develop product that clearly defines characteristics of Suzuki.” This will be achieved, we were told, by: “focusing particularly on the 150cc and up, backbone and sport categories”. 

In the latter’s case, emphasis will include shifting from low-priced to mid-to-high-priced products, a “return to the origin of basic performances of running, cornering and braking”, whatever that means, and feedback from MotoGP technologies. So we can look forward to more Gixxers gathering dust then…

The report also reiterated the parlous state of Suzuki’s global bike operations. Overseas sales volume was 15% down to 1.435 million units. Some 1.07 million of those were small-capacity machines sold in emerging markets — all of which lost ground. Sales across the six key South-East Asian countries fell by 30%. China and India dropped by 20% and 8% respectively. Europe grew by 7% against an overall European market improvement of 11%, claiming only a reduced 5.2% market share.

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