Maruti’s Nexa customers to get exclusive service facilities soon

N Ramakrishnan Chennai | Updated on January 20, 2018

RS Kalsi

Currently, premium cars are serviced by the firm’s regular dealers

After Nexa dealerships to give a premium treatment to car buyers, Maruti Suzuki India is working on having exclusive service facilities too for Nexa customers. At present, servicing and repairs of cars bought through Nexa outlets are done through the existing service facilities of the company’s regular dealer network.

Maruti Suzuki sells the premium hatchback Baleno and crossover S-cross through the 127 Nexa dealers in the country. It will add another 123 Nexa outlets this year, taking the total to 250. It will also introduce two more models — the Baleno RS with a 1-litre boosterjet engine and compact sports utility vehicle Ignis — by October through these outlets. “We will be setting up workshops which will be exclusive to Nexa. That would start in another six months,” RS Kalsi, Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki, told BusinessLine here today.

At present, Nexa customers have three options to have their cars serviced — call up their relationship manager and get the car serviced at home; have the car picked up and taken to the workshop for service and maintenance and have it delivered the same day; or, the customer goes over to the workshop with the relationship manager ensuring that he or she has the same level of premium treatment at the workshop too.

Kalsi explained that ramping up the service network at that speed exclusive for Nexa customers would not have been possible, especially since the company rolled out a record number of outlets in one year.

Expanding the Nexa network is crucial for Maruti Suzuki as it expects this distribution channel to contribute up to 15 per cent of total sales over the next two-three years.

The Nexa dealers have sold over 70,000 cars so far since the format was rolled out, with a huge waiting period for the Baleno.

Maruti Suzuki expects the premium cars and higher-priced models, such as the Baleno, S-Cross and Vitara Brezza, to contribute more to sales volume. In 2015-16, the premium models accounted for a tenth of total domestic sales of about 1.3 million units. Last financial year, Maruti Suzuki’s total domestic sales were up 11.5 per cent, exceeding the industry’s 7.2 per cent growth. Kalsi was confident that the company would grow in double-digits this year too.

His confidence, he said, stemmed from the various measures the company had taken — bringing in new products, automated manual transmission variant in a number of models, improved technology and expanding the dealer network.

How much the growth would be depended on a host of factors, including whether the South-West monsoon was evenly distributed or not. Nevertheless, it would be in “double-digits,” he said.

Despite the poor monsoon the company’s rural sales grew 10 per cent last year, thanks to the “seeding” efforts done in an additional 20,000-plus villages. “We were able to maintain the momentum,” he added.

Published on April 20, 2016

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