In a major restructuring of its manufacturing facilities to improve efficiency and increase production capacity, Suzuki is transferring its outboard engine production from the original Toyokawa plant in Aichi prefecture to its Kosai plant in neighbouring Shizuoka prefecture.
The new facility will be housed in buildings formerly used for car production but which have been totally redesigned and refurbished to cater to the growing demand for higher horsepower outboards. Speaking to IBI’s longest serving correspondent on a visit to Hamamatsu last week, senior managers described the move as a major investment which would include the installation of a new generation of production machinery and ancillary systems. The total investment is valued at $34m and the new plant will be fully operational by August with CO2 emissions 20% lower than at the previous facility.
Suzuki is also investing heavily on upgrading its research, development and testing facilities in Japan as it expands its outboard engine manufacturing capacity. Following last year’s introduction of the DF350A, the most powerful engine in its range, the company is expected to launch new medium range outboard models at the forthcoming Genoa boat show in September.
In a global financial news release issued last month, Suzuki announced its corporate results for 2017. Consolidated net sales across the total business increased by 18.5% to ¥3.7 trillion ($33.7bn) with much of the increase down to improved car and motorcycle sales in India and Europe. Operating income for the group rose 40.3% to ¥374bn ($341.5m), and ordinary income increased by 33.5 % to ¥382bn ($348.8m).
The marine business net sales increased by 11% to ¥75bn ($684.9m) mainly due to the sales contribution of the new DF 350 model in North America and Europe, operating income for the marine division increased 15.9% year on year to ¥14.5bn ($132.4m).