Maruti Suzuki India expands service network in rural markets

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The contribution of rural markets to Maruti’s total sales volume increased from 20.5% in FY11 to 40.9% in FY21.

As the customer base expands in rural markets, Maruti Suzuki India plans to expand its service network in such areas, a company official said.

The contribution of rural markets to Maruti’s total sales volume increased from 20.5% in FY11 to 40.9% in FY21. The country’s largest car manufacturer reached the cumulative sales mark of 5 million units in rural markets in the second quarter of this fiscal year.

“Our main focus is on the rural markets. We intend to expand our network more and more into rural markets,” Partho Banerjee, Senior Executive Director, Service, Maruti Suzuki India, told FE.

“With the emergence of the new Bharat, we have seen an increase in the customer base in rural areas in recent years. This automatically requires an extensive presence for this customer group in order to provide them with quality after-sales support. In addition, we believe that quality services should be provided on time and the facilities should be close to the customer,” he added.

Maruti currently has more than 4,240 service points across the country, having added more than 200 new facilities in FY22.

Partho Banerjee, Senior Executive Director, Services, Maruti Suzuki India

“In FY22 we have already activated more than 200 service touchpoints, which is more than the average of the last five years. Our average over the past five years has been 180. This year it’s already passed 200 and we’ll be adding more in March. We will strive to surpass FY22 numbers in FY23 with approximately 250 service touchpoints,” Banerjee said.

According to Banerjee, Maruti operates nearly 600,000 scheduled services every month. However, if you consider all three service categories – free, scheduled and ongoing repairs – the company performs nearly 60,000 services every day. The customers who buy a new Maruti Suzuki car do not have to pay any labor costs for the first three services.

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“We are currently growing in scheduled services by 15% over the course of FY21. Most people have not driven the vehicle much during the Covid-19 period. So they felt that since they had not driven their vehicle, it did not require scheduled service. We have clarified to customers that it doesn’t matter if the vehicle has been driven or not, they must have the vehicle serviced according to the schedule,” explained Banerjee.

But compared to pre-Covid times, he said growth in scheduled services for the first 11 months of FY22 is 1.5%.

Maruti Suzuki India recently introduced a Customer Convenience Package that covers vehicle damage in the event of engine failures due to hydrostatic lock and fuel adulteration.

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