May 14, 2007 – Suzuki expects big segment growth year

Suzuki Motor Corp.’s overseas motorcycle sales flattened in 2007, but the Japanese manufacturer is expecting big gains in the upcoming year.
The manufacturer said its 2007 fiscal year new bike sales outside of Japan totaled 2.9 million, a 0.1 percent decrease from the previous fiscal year.
Suzuki, which has its fiscal year end on March 31, did not reveal in its financial report how its motorcycle segment sales fared in North America. But its overseas sales did slip in 2007 after rising 4 percent the previous year.
Looking ahead, the company is forecasting a huge increase for its overseas motorcycle sales for its 2008 fiscal year. Suzuki is expecting to sell 3.5 million new bikes during that period, which would be a 23 percent rise over the previous year.
For that anticipated upturn in sales, Suzuki is expecting to manufacture 3.7 million new units, a 17 percent increase over the 2007 fiscal year.
While Suzuki’s overseas motorcycle sales were relatively flat, its overseas automobile sales rose 12.5 percent over the previous fiscal year. Because of that, Suzuki announced it increased its net earnings for the eighth consecutive year (to $26.4 billion) and its net income for the sixth consecutive year (to $626 million). Both the earnings and net incomes were all-time highs for the company.
Suzuki attributed part of its earning and income gains to a positive foreign exchange rate, cost reductions and changes in sale and model mixes.
Although the company did not provide its motorcycle segment sales from North America, it did report its overall North America sales totals. North America sales were about $3.8 billion, nearly a 17 percent increase over the previous year. It’s the second straight year that the company’s overall North America sales totals climbed in the double digits.
Elsewhere, Suzuki saw its biggest percentage increase in Europe, which climbed 34 percent, while its Asia sales climbed about 8 percent. psb

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