The COVID-19 pandemic, as devastating and life changing as it is, has presented itself as quite a stimulus to the motorcycle market, particularly in Asia. The result of the ripple effect of social distancing measures, the sudden restrictions placed on mass public transportation systems has led individuals to invest in their own personal means of mobility.
Even today, as restrictions begin to ease, many people still opt not to take public transport due to the increased risk of transmission. With this, the sales of lightweight, affordable scooters and motorcycles began to skyrocket. In developing countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, the waiting list for a brand new two-wheeler could have buyers wait several months before their unit would be available. This is because, as the demand for two-wheelers increased, the rising number of cases forced several companies to temporarily halt production, in a bid to allocate more resources towards the pandemic response.
As has always been the case with the motorcycle industry, manufacturers had to streamline their strategic market approach. Several Indian motorcycle manufacturers have turned towards bolstering their exports in order to, first of all, increase overall sales, and of course, quell some of the demand in other markets. We've seen TVS, Royal Enfield, and Bajaj take steps in improving their exports. Suzuki India has followed suit, and plans to boost its exports in various neighboring countries such as Japan, New Zealand, and even Latin America. The Japanese manufacturer has in fact already begun exporting its India-made Gixxer 250 to Japan.
"If you look at all the world, the demand for Indian models is increasing drastically. So, we have to catch up with such kind of demand as soon as possible. So, we are very positive about our future exports plan," Suzuki Motorcycle India Company Head, Satoshi Uchida states in a report published by Car and Bike. The Japanese motorcycle manufacturer currently has plans of streamlining its made-in-India model range, and optimizing it for export to markets including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, as well as the majority of South East Asia.