Suzuki’s Strategic Advantage
Suzuki is the leader in the Japanese compact car market with its Swift model dominating the market. Although it has not been able to exactly replicate its success in America and other countries in the Western world, it has been able to revolutionize the car industry in India with its long-standing strategic alliance with Maruthi Udyog. Its other offerings in the global car arena include Grand Vitara, SX4 Sedan and XL7 Crossover SUV. Suzuki also rests at third place among the world’s top tier motorcycle makers with popular bikes such as Hayabusa and Boulevard doing well all over the globe.
Suzuki’s popularity in the motorcycle segment is fuelled by its rich racing tradition which lends a certain credibility and untarnished panache to this day. Also, the ability to build one of the fastest bikes on the road equates the Suzuki brand name with technical innovation and excellent craftsmanship. Since Suzuki has been able to evolve from being a simple company manufacturing loom to an automobile superpower, it would always have an image of being an organization that can evolve and sustain itself over time.
Since urban sprawling has contributed to traffic congestion and air-pollution concerns being on the raise, small cars from Suzuki have found favor among the masses. Its ability to seamlessly move into new markets and start overseas manufacturing units is a worthwhile strategic advantage, since it simplifies and hastens the transition process of entering into untapped markets. Attitude towards Growth Suzuki’s global strategy is poised towards providing “superior value” to its customers through innovation.
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Suzuki also places a lot of emphasis on going green and environmentally sustainable development. It focuses on regulating the use of non-biodegradable materials, recycling and reducing noise. The company extends this school of thought by pursuing alternate energy sources and reducing energy consumption in all operations from establishing offices to waste disposal. The widespread use of diesel engines in Suzuki cars as well as the development of “fuel-cell” motorcycle concept is a testament to their beliefs being translated to action.
To promote research on developing energy-saving and environment friendly technologies as well as electronics, production engineering and material sciences, Suzuki has invested over 40 Million Yen in Japanese universities (Global Suzuki). The fact that the Suzuki foundation strongly believes in R&D is supported by its sizeable research grants awarded to several universities over the past 29 years. The organization has also invested in several technologies pertaining to automotive safety and next generation electric vehicles.
Since the true mark of a company is how it plans for the future, Suzuki believes in promoting research results and supporting academic symposiums that lay the groundwork for emerging technologies. Corporate Strategies The company has planned to capture a large stake in the automobile manufacturing industry in Russia. It has invested approximately $116 Million so far to strengthen operations in St. Petersburg to make an impact on the Russian car market. Suzuki is also all set to make a strong impact on the Chinese market with cars such as the Landy that happens to a specially designed for China.
Maruthi Suzuki’s stranglehold on the Indian small car industry is unparalleled to this day, owing to its wide network of dealers and service centers. It has also recently ended its long partnership with Indian motorcycle giant TVS Motors; it plans to invest $228 Million in Suzuki Motorcycle India to build manufacturing units and sell its own motorcycle brand in the world’s largest motorcycle market. Suzuki’s financial results have also been quite impressive, given the global economic slowdown. However, cash flow crises and appreciating value of the Japanese Yen have certainly made things difficult for the company.
Thus, the company has been heavily investing in hybrid electric vehicles in the West and developing new technologies to comply with the new ELV regulation. It has also started aggressively marketing its widely popular compact cars in untapped Asian and South African markets to sustain growth and financial stability. Since motorcycles are considered as a viable alternative to cars in developing Asian nations, Suzuki is cashing in on this trend by cost-effective and easy-to-ride commuter motorcycles. However, this has not affected its enthusiast and performance motorcycle segment has been reigning steady success all over the world.