Maruti Suzuki sees huge potential for Smart Finance and online sales: Here’s why

Maruti Suzuki and 14 financiers have come together to offer Smart Finance services tailored to customer needs. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, leads for online sales have grown exponentially for the manufacturer.

By:October 18, 2021 2:48 PM
Shashank Srivastava

Maruti Suzuki India Limited recent announced that customers will be able to finance their vehicles easier than before. With Smart Finance, Maruti Suzuki customers can avail finance options online in an integrated platform for a one-stop solution. MSIL has integrated its online Smart Finance platform with 14 financiers to offer competitive interests rates for both Arena and Nexa customers. Additionally, the platform provides real-time loan status tracking, old vehicle exchange price integration, and co-applicant financing options.

In May 2020, Maruti Suzuki ran a pilot project for Smart Finance in Gurgaon, Haryana. At the time, 3 banks – HDFC, ICICI and Yes Bank were the only financiers on board. It was then rolled out to limited cities in December 2020. The feature is now available nation wide with a current roster of 14 financiers on board. Through the Smart Finance solution, Maruti Suzuki claims to have disbursed 1.16 lakh loans since it was introduced.

Speaking with Express Drives, Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), MSIL mentioned that the biggest hurdle to set up Smart Financing was integrating the platform with all the different digital platforms of the banks and financiers. It was followed by the development of a user-friendly interface for the customer. After deep discussions with the banks, MSIL with help of its in-house team as well as outsourced software developers were able to create the Smart Finance platform.

Srivastava highlighted that the customer benefits from Smart Finance would be huge. MSIL believes it will provide customers a transparent and comprehensive finance offers and help choose the right finance partner, selecting the best-suited loan product, completing all the finance-related formalities and disbursal of the loan. The entire process would be done online through the digital platform. This is supplemented by the vehicle exchange estimate and co-applicant financing option also integrated into the platform.

The automaker currently has 14 financiers on board. Srivastava confirmed that moving forward, the automaker would be expanding the offering by including more financiers, structured finance products and also improving the customer experience.

Srivastava also mentioned that around 28% of all financed purchases are being executed through the Smart Finance platform with 26,000-28,000 transactions every month.

Additionally, Maruti Suzuki claims to be helping customers who may chose third-party financiers that may provide them with poor offers with hidden costs. Srivastava assures that the Smart Finance platform offers transparency for customers.

In the digitised world, the automotive industry has been working to offer online sales platforms to the consumer. This is not only prevalent in India, but globally. Srivastava states that back in 2016, Maruti Suzuki had launched its online product sales platform. At the time, the rate of online conversion was at a mere 3% which then grew to 16% in 2019. However, when the industry pushed towards further digitised platform in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the rate of conversion grew exponentially to around 35-38for MSIL.

Srivastava supports the fact that the pandemic has accelerated the online sales platform’s performance. However, he also believes that it is an irreversible process and sees online car sales to grow even further with time.

Currently, in the customer’s purchase journey, Maruti Suzuki identifies 26 touch points, 24 of which have been digitised. The two points that cannot be digitised are of course vehicle test drives and product delivery. With Smart Finance, Maruti Suzuki claims to have digitised three main aspects of the finance journey as well.

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