Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest car manufacturer is bullish on increasing sales from rural areas of India. As an example, the company had a share of 9-10 per cent of its total sales from rural India while the figure has now gone up to 38.5 per cent at the end of FY20. The company believes there is ample potential waiting to be tapped into from rural India. The company also predicts an uptick in used car sales post COVID-19 where the ‘new normal’ norms suggest social distancing and hygiene will be of paramount importance once until the coronavirus scare is completely addressed.
In a conversation with Siddharth Vinayak Patankar, Editor-in-Chief, carandbike, Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director, Marketing & Sales, Maruti Suzuki India, said, “I think the point about rural car sales is pretty valid. I think the rural income levels are going up over the last 10 years, so also has been the rapid spread of our touchpoints and also the consumers themselves. So, I think 10 years back, our rural percentage sale was about 9-10 per cent. But as of today, the year, we ended up with 38 and a half per cent rural sales. So, I think, yes, the trend seems to be there.
Maruti Suzuki restarted its sales operations in India with one-third of its dealerships now open for business. RC Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki confirmed the same to carandbike. Interestingly, about 60 per cent of the currently open dealerships are located in rural areas of the country. Currently, Maruti Suzuki has more than 2,500 sales touch points across India. Throughout the lockdown, the company has received 5,000 bookings and once the government and local authorities eased the restrictions, Maruti has delivered over 2,300 cars since then. The company says that there are over 1,900 service centres open across India at present.