With more nuclear families rising in India, the buying pattern of the customers is also changing and they prefer travelling in a shared cab or even subscription model, which may impact the pattern of car sales in future, a top official at Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) has said.

“More and more people are living in a nuclear family and this nuclear family trend is increasing in India. That is changing the lifestyle of the people...so that is also effecting the car buying pattern,” Hisashi Takeuchi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, MSIL, said recently on the side-lines of the new Swift launch.

He stated that sustained, this trend could affect long-term car sales. However, currently, it’s not a significant concern, so short-term worry isn’t necessary.

“If that trend is expanding more then I think that may change the current model – the way they drive cars. That may get changed if they are sharing cabs or take subscription model. So the question is how quickly we adapt to that. Then the way we sell cars may be different (would change in the way we sell cars, it will be much different),” he said.

Takeuchi noted that sales patterns for sharing services will vary due to increased vehicle usage. Previously, a car used for only a few hours daily by personal buyers may now be utilized for 10-12 hours or beyond in sharing services.

“Eventually, this service will reduce the number of car sales, but if we see the Indian market growth, it is much more than those kind of phenomena (right now),” he added.

Echoing his thoughts, Manish Raj Singhania, President, Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) said that it could be true for the entry-level cars. “I stand by the Maruti’s MD story that entry-level cars’ retail is due...it will come in some point or the other as the economy of Bharat is reviving and we are seeing increasing purchase trend there. We are also seeing phenomenal purchase in two-wheeler segment, so if that continues then definitely over a period of time, it will move up from two-wheeler buying to entry-level passenger cars.”

He also said right now the subscription model is also in very small numbers and it hardly contributes to the retail sales.

“In pre-Covid times we were saying that the likes of Olas and Ubers would take over and nobody will buy a car or own a car, but then Covid happened and everything changed. Look at the passenger vehicle sales now where we achieved an all-time high in April, and still we are seeing growth of two-three per cent every month. So, the thirst for personal vehicle is still very much here,” Singhania added.

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