Rediff.com  » Business » Maruti: As people prefer pvt transport, hatchbacks are popular

Maruti: As people prefer pvt transport, hatchbacks are popular

By T E Narasimhan
May 18, 2020 15:19 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

While the company used to report bookings of 4,000-5,000 every day, following the partial lifting of lockdown, in a week, it has received around 6,000.

Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker, has said it started getting more enquiries for hatchbacks than sedans or SUVs within a few days of starting sales after the relaxation of lockdown.

The expectation is that first-time buyers will account for more sales than the rest.

While the company used to report bookings of 4,000-5,000 every day, following the partial lifting of lockdown, in a week, it has received around 6,000.

 

And the number is rising.

“This is in line with expectations on the revival of consumer confidence and the company is making efforts to ensure safety in showrooms,” said Shashank Srivastava, executive director, marketing and sales.

Till the middle of last week, the company opened 1,150 showrooms and has delivered slightly fewer than 3,000 vehicles.

“Almost 65 per cent of the enquiries are for hatches, whereas they were about 55 per cent last year. But it is too early to say this is a trend,” he said.

Consumer research says three to four trends are expected.

One is that people normally in such situations gravitate to established brands.

Secondly, since car buying is a discretionary purchase, it requires positive sentiment.

The percentage of first-time buyers will be higher than others.

Thirdly, there will be an increase in sales of smaller cars proportionately.

The fact that people prefer private transport over public transport owing to the pandemic has been brought out by many surveys, Srivastava said.

The fourth aspect, in pushing demand in the lower-income segment, is financing.

Since the financial position might be tight for many buyers, they could buy lower-priced cars in comparison with what they were planning, which is called transfer demand.

“The average price at showrooms in the Indian market is about Rs 7.7 lakh, and it has been going up for the past seven to eight years.

"For Maruti Suzuki the average would be Rs 5.5-5.6 lakh,” he said.

Another trend that has emerged is the increased emphasis on digitisation.

Maruti had identified that there were around 28 touch points between the customer thinking of buying a car and taking delivery.

Of these, 7-21 have become digital for the company even before COVID-19.

Online enquiries and bookings seem to have increased after lockdown was relaxed.

Most original equipment manufacturers are trying to digitise the financing part of sales.

But the test drive has to be done, though there are some virtual test drives.

So companies are trying to transform the other points too into digital.

Photograph: Courtesy, Maruti Suzuki

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
T E Narasimhan in Chennai
Source: source
SHARE THIS STORY