Maruti Suzuki India has bought prime properties in metros to build upmarket showrooms to attract the rich Indian customers. This signals a key change in the distribution strategy of the company as competition reaches new levels. MSI spent Rs 50-60 crore each to buy properties in posh locations like Lokhandwala in Mumbai's Andheri and Indraprastha in central Delhi.
The company also plans to buy another 12 properties in other metros. MSI recently built plush outlets in five of its own properties and recently handed them to dealers. These dealerships also display Maruti Suzuki’s lifestyle products such as apparels, sports products, car miniatures, baggage and other branded stuffs.
“There was a need to start a retail format that would help us to cushion-in our dealers on the high-retail prices. We spent around Rs 50-60 crore on real estate in Mumbai. This is much beyond the means of local dealers. Hence, we managed to get places in the right locations, while micro issues of sales and service are left to dealers,” said Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer (marketing), Maruti Suzuki.
These changes are coming as a result of the upcoming launch of the Suzuki Kizashi which will hit the market next month with a price band of Rs 14-16 lakh, is pitted against superior brands like Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Skoda Laura. MSI also plans to bring its multi-utility vehicle R3 sometime this year. “We would be catering to a new set of customers with Kizashi. They should have a different perception,” said Pareek.