Companies

Sundaram Motors bets on market revival, plans car dealership expansion

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on May 16, 2019 Published on May 16, 2019

Sharath Vijayaraghavan (left), ED, Sundaram Motors and Ram Santhanam, JMD, TVS & Sons Pvt Ltd at a press conference in Chennai on Thursday   -  Bijoy Ghosh

Sundaram Motors, which is involved in sales and services of leading car brands and after-market parts distribution, plans to open more dealerships for its existing brands as it hopes the growth in the passenger vehicle market in India to come back over the next 2-3 quarters.

The company said the auto industry was going through a rough patch, with negative consumer sentiment and higher insurance and interest costs causing a huge pile up of stocks.

However, Sundaram Motors, a division of TV Sundram Iyengar & Sons Ltd, will continue to invest, expand, and grow the business as it feels that most of the buyers are in the wait-and-watch mode now, and growth will resume in a few quarters.

“The passenger car market has seen good growth in the past 4-5 years. But, this is the period people are feeling little uncertain about various things. However, we hope things will start improving after 3-4 months. I don’t think the temporary set back should make us feel that the growth has flattened or ended,” said Ram Santhanam, Joint MD, T V Sundram Iyengar and Sons Ltd.

Meanwhile, Sundaram Honda, which handles dealerships for Honda cars across South India, has become the first dealer to clock cumulative sales of one lakh units of Honda.

Sundaram Honda, which started handling sales and service of Honda in 1998, sold the first 40,000 cars in 14 years and the balance 60,000 units were sold in about seven years. Mid-size sedan Honda City accounted for about 45 per cent of the total sales, followed by Amaze and Jazz.

Sundaram Motors is in the process of setting up new dealerships for Honda and Mercedes-Benz in the next couple of years.

It is also looking at setting up sales and service outlets in smaller towns that are seen as potential growth centres for the future.

“We are currently in the process of inaugurating our facilities in Eluru (Andhra Pradesh) and Karaikudi (Tamil Nadu) for Honda. In the next fiscal, we will open three more dealerships in interior locations in the South,” said Sharath Vijayaraghavan, Executive Director, Sundaram Motors.

The company has recently commenced operations for Mercedez-Benz in Chennai, and a new workshop for the German luxury car brand is fully operational at Ambattur, while a showroom will be operational by July.

“We propose to set up another city-based showroom for Mercedes-Benz, which will be operational by August this year,” he said.

Overall, it has nine showrooms for Mercedes in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Sundaram Motors’ turnover is in the region of ₹1,800 crore and it has 3,200 employees; Sundaram Honda accounts for ₹840 crore of the turnover and 1,400 employees.

Published on May 16, 2019
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