It’s no secret that the Indian auto industry is going thru a sluggish phase of sales. In this scenario, where going has got tougher for most auto manufacturers in the country, Maruti Suzuki has formulated a plan to boost its sales, even during these times of dwindling demand for cars.
The company plans to extract more sales from the rural markets and has started working to have presence in over 1 lakh Indian villages by March 2014.
“The industry has seen a decline in sales by about 4-5 per cent this year. On the other hand, rural sales — which accounts for about 30 per cent of our total sales — have grown by 18 per cent in the April-November period this fiscal,” MSI Chairman R C Bhargava told ET.
He further added that had it not been for sales coming from the rural market, MSIL would have had been in a stickier situation and “we would have been in similar mess like the rest of the industry“.
“We have been giving emphasis on rural markets. Last year, we had covered 44,000 villages and till November this year, we have presence in 60,000 villages and by March next year, we will have presence in one lakh out of a total of 6.51 lakh villages in India,” Bhargava said.
Currently, MSIL has 700 rural outlets, along with 650 mobile vans that can service vehicles at customer’s home.
Commenting on declining sales in Indian market, Bhargava said that Indian auto sector is looking slated to continue on declining due to overall economic and political conditions.
“In terms of retail sales, for the fiscal till November we are one per cent up from that of last year. We are hopeful that we will be able to match last fiscal’s numbers,” he said.
When asked about company’s Gujarat plant, Bhargava said the project is currently “in cold storage“. He commented,“There is no point in creating additional capacity when there is no demand. We have the land, boundary wall has been erected but we are not undertaking any capacity creation. We have not decided when we will start work at the Gujarat plant,”
via Economic Times