Country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) today launched retail outlets under Nexa brand to sell premium products as the company looks to further consolidate its position in the domestic market.
“Based on the vision to sell two million vehicles annually by 2020, we are starting various initiatives. Nexa outlets is one such step lined up in that direction,” MSI Managing Director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa told reporters here.
The company’s upcoming S-Cross model would be the first product to be sold from Nexa outlets.
S-Cross will be launched in the first week of August and is expected to be priced around Rs 10 lakh. It will have two engine options, 1.6 litre and 1.3 litre diesel, which the company is sourcing from Fiat under a licence agreement.
Ayukawa said that the company is confident that with Nexa it will be able to broaden its customer base.
“We had a market share of 45 per cent last year in the passenger car segment. So, still over 50 per cent customers are not with us… that is why Nexa outlets have been created to provide different experience to customers,” Ayukawa said.
Nearly 100 Nexa showrooms will come up across the country over the next six-eight months, he added.
On the concept of new retail channel, Ayukawa said: “Indian market and society are rapidly changing and new segments of customers are emerging. We have to take new initiatives to meet diversifying expectations from customers.”
The mission of Nexa is to offer innovative value and direction so that the company can adequately respond to the new segments of Indian customers, Ayukawa said.
Asked about the number of premium products the company plans to launch in next one year via Nexa channel, MSI Executive Director (Marketing & Sales) R S Kalsi did not confirm the number, but said: “We have a number of products in pipeline. Some will go to the regular channel and some would go to Nexa.”
He added that the company will have separate service stations for the Nexa channel in due course of time.
“Till then our regular dealers would service the cars,” he added.
MSI, which has vast sales network with 1,650 dealerships across the country, plans to hire around 2,500 relationship managers by the end of the fiscal for Nexa outlets.
The company plans to have around 30 Nexa outlets operational in the initial stage and for that over 1,000 relationship managers have already been hired.
MSI is hiring people from sectors such as hospitality, aviation and financial services to offer a differentiated luxury car buying experience for its “discerning customers”.
MSI has so far sold 3,41,329 units in the current fiscal till June, up 13.8 per cent from 2,99,894 units sold during the same period previous fiscal.