Suzuki bucks the trend

Suzuki bucks the trend

Suzuki Motor Corporation has posted a profit for the 2008 fiscal, making it something of a rarity in a motor industry doing it very tough.


Finishing in the black allows SMC to maintain its impressive streak of recording a profit every year since 1950.

Suzuki's strong situation came on the back of continued good sales in India and throughout the Asian region. Unlike other Japanese vehicle brands, Suzuki also had limited exposure to the dramatic drop in car sales in the US.

SMC Corporate Planning Department general manager Seiji Kobayashi this week said the company would report a profit of 27.4 billion yen ($US280 million) for the 2008 fiscal year.

The outlook for Suzuki remains positive too. Mr Kobayashi said Suzuki was well placed to handle the unique market conditions with its portfolio of small vehicles.

In Japan, Suzuki performed well with a total market share of 32 per cent, up 1.0 per cent year on year.

This lifted Suzuki to number three for total sales in Japan in the last fiscal year, ahead of Honda, Mazda and Mitsubishi.

In Europe, the introduction of the Splash and Alto mini-vehicles kept Suzuki's sales healthy - it finished just 6.9 per cent down while the market is down more than 17 per cent.

In Australia, Suzuki recorded its sixth straight record year in 2008, with total sales of 22,523 vehicles for an increase of 4.4 per cent.

But year-to-date 2009, Suzuki sales in Australia are off more than 1400 units and are currently lagging 19.2 per cent off January-April 2008.

Suzuki Oz is sweating on the arrival of the all-new Indian-made sub-lite Alto econocar which joins the local line-up in the third quarter.

The new Euro IV compliant Alto is powered by a three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine producing peak power output of 50kW with a maximum torque of 90Nm.

This fifth and smallest member of Suzuki's range has posted eye-catching fuel figures of 4.5litres/100km and CO2 emissions of just 103 grams per kilometre.

SRS front, side, and curtain airbags are available. Energy-absorbing trim materials provide further head protection.

The Alto, which Suzuki says will be very handily priced to make it accessible to those on tight budgets, would be available in two packed specifications.

The entry level Alto will come standard with air conditioning, CD stereo system with MP3 auxiliary input, remote central locking, ant-skid brakes and six airbags.

The top specification Alto adds alloy wheels, fog lamps, tacho and stability control.

For the 2009 fiscal year, SMC has predicted a 10 billion yen group operating profit and a net profit of 5 billion yen.

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