Maruti to ramp up brand spend to Rs 300 cr

Written by Ronojoy Banerjee | Ronojoy Banerjee | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 16 2010, 06:41am hrs
Faced with rising competition, the country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki is going to invest more than Rs 300 crore in this fiscal on advertising and marketing campaigns. The company would also identify newer segments in the car market by launching products suited to customer tastes and preferences.

Maruti Suzuki chief general manager (marketing) Shashank Srivastava told FE that with the domestic car market getting more competitive, the market leader would strengthen its brand and roll out more cars to maintain its dominance in the market. Our focus now is to further enhance the brand Maruti and offer products across segments, he said.

He said that as per the company estimates the car market is set to double in the next five years. The car market is going to double and also we feel that in five years another 46 new car models will be launched. In such a scenario, there would be pressure on Maruti but we would constantly strive to increase capacity and offer more to the customers, he said.

Srivastava said the company would launch more products this year than it did in 2009-10 which would require more investments from Maruti. Last month the company launched the refurbished version of its highest selling car the Alto. Powered by a K-series engine the company expects to sell 30,000 Altos per month. Earlier this year the company rolled out a new WagonR which is built on a completely new platform.

Dismissing reports of Maruti losing its market share, Srivastava said in the last eight to nine years the company's share has remained intact, a feat that few carmakers have managed to achieve globally. Globally, there has been no carmaker that has maintained 50%-plus market share for so long. Also, if you see, our market share has not really dipped, he said. He explained that in the A and B segment Maruti's share has remained 50% plus. In the last one-year India has seen several new car launches from global bigwigs like Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen. Though analysts say that it could take years for any car company to reach Maruti's network and production scale, the market leader could gradually see an erosion in its market share in the years to come.