The news isn't all bad, however.
While the rest of the industry has been dealing with sloping sales for a few months already—particularly in India where the market has significantly slowed down—Suzuki was one of the only brands that remained in the green. Until now.
The maker ended its 2019-2020 fiscal in the green with 5.7 percent of growth year over year despite the pandemic. With India now facing the worst of the pandemic, the local motorcycle market is hit hard, and this time, Suzuki didn’t escape the slump.
In a press release, the company reported that it ended its April-June 2020 quarter with a 46.8-percent drop in scooter and motorcycle sales worldwide compared to the same period last year. The report singles out the Indian and European markets having most seriously contributed to the drop due to the COVID-19-related lockdowns.
Sure enough, on its end, Suzuki India’s sales dropped by almost 50 (49.6) percent in July 2020 compared to last year, with only 31,421 units moved versus 69,326 during the same period in 2019. Export numbers aren’t looking so fresh either with a 56-percent drop in the number of exported units. That represents 2,991 two-wheelers shipped and sold outside of India compared to 6,870 in July last year.
There is, however, a little silver lining. Suzuki’s sales increased between June and July 2020. According to several local sources, this is partially due to the company’s “Suzuki at your doorstep” initiative that allowed customers to shop and buy scooters and motorcycles online and have them delivered directly at home. The service is currently offered in 279 dealers across India but the makers plan to grow the network to improve access to its products.
As for the forecast, Suzuki Global remained vague. With the pandemic and emergency measures in full swing in some of its key markets, the company admitted it wasn’t able to come up with a reliable sales forecast for the time being.