Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest car maker, is launching a three-pronged strategy to spruce up sales and customer service experience. Taking cues from its Nexa
sales channel, the company plans to refresh its 1,800 regular outlets. It also plans to bring dedicated workshop for Nexa
cars and introduce a new format for True Value, their channel for pre-owned cars.
Maruti had introduced Nexa
sales network in 2015 to sell premium vehicles and offer a differentiated experience to buyers. About 250 Nexa
outlets are operational as of now and they have cumulatively sold about 300,000 cars, including Baleno and S-Cross.
“We had a positive feedback from customers on Nexa
and there were learnings that we wish to take to our regular sales network,” Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and chief executive officer, said.
Maruti aims to expand sales to 2 million units by 2020 from 1.56 million vehicles in FY17.
Ayukawa said the aim was to be dynamic and build an everlasting relationship with customers and their changing profiles. “The average age of Maruti Suzuki
customers is getting lower. Around 10 years ago, Maruti was known as a father's car,” he said, adding, today their products appeal to consumers across different age groups. The 1,800 sales outlets would have a lounge and café for customers and demarcated zones for each process of purchase.
The company said it would use technology to help buyers book a test drive, book a car online and even personalise a car. It plans to make the experience of car purchase “paperless and hassle free”. The revamp would be built around three key areas of technology, design and experience. By the next month, 40 outlets would be aligned to the new design and the number would go up to 80 by March 2018.
The company said it would roll out workshops for cars retailed through Nexa. Nexa
car buyers have been servicing vehicles at service centres of regular retail channels. The company plans to have 60-70 Nexa
service outlets in the current financial year and the number would go up to 300 by 2019-20, by when Nexa
outlets could expand to 400.
The workshops will have glass walls allowing customers a view of the bay where cars would be serviced.
Ayukawa said the company wanted to build a stronger used-car business. “Pre-owned car itself is complicated and difficult to understand. So we are trying to develop a system which is transparent and easy to understand for customers who can evaluate vehicles easily,” Ayukawa said. By March 2018, it aims to have 150 stand-alone True Value