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Old 25th February 2015, 13:20   #31
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Default Maruti to introduce dealerships for its premium cars

In pursuit of an image makeover, India's largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki now plans to introduce separate dealerships to sell its premium offerings. Over the next one year, the company plans to add 30-35 dealerships in selected cities, which will only sell models that carry a premium price tag. Existing as well as new dealers might be included in this new venture.

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Last edited by S2!!! : 25th February 2015 at 13:22.
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Old 25th February 2015, 14:03   #32
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Default Re: Maruti to focus on image facelift to go premium

I'm glad that the top brass at Suzuki at last recognize and admit that they are facing problem with the brand being perceived as cheap. Reasons for that perception are well known and have already been discussed here.

Now, the question is: Should something be done to change the perception and if Yes, what should be done?

I think Suzuki like most Jap firms thinks long and hard before committing to any action, and I think they would have considered pros and cons of changing the public perception of their current car lineup. They do know that while they are dominating the entry and mid segments, but they need to make some dramatic changes to be able to successfully tap the high end of the passenger car segment.

It will be therefore interesting to see their next steps and I think if they are successful in changing public perception, it will really be a game changer. Of course, just changing showrooms, salespeople etc. without addressing other issues would defeat the purpose.
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Old 25th February 2015, 16:20   #33
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Default Re: Maruti to focus on image facelift to go premium

This is over all a good move in my opinion. I read through the comments earlier and agree with the point of view that Maruti also needs to have products worthy of being called premium to compete, but at the same time showroom experience also goes a long way.

I am currently in the market for a new car and have been to all showrooms recently covering maruti, hyundai, skoda, mahindra, honda. If I look at Ciaz its not too way off from its competition in terms of product features, quality however I particularly found Maruti sales guys completely lacking in product knowledge about Ciaz. They had tough time finding the button to open car's boot and had no clue about the variants and ZXi+ etc. Comparing this to Skoda which is known for its poor A.S.S but the sales man had very good knowledge and treated me with lot of finesse. So certainly a good move plus hoping maruti raises the bar on premiumness as well.
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Old 25th February 2015, 17:43   #34
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Default Re: Maruti to focus on image facelift to go premium

Maruti (Suzuki) in India with their dominance in the market (overall, not specific to a segment) should experiment with a brand which is young and futuristic. I am not referring to a premium one, but with a flare for youth. Like a Scion for Toyota in US.

That fresh young look can be brought in the segments that they are successful with. Ofcourse it will cannibalise their existing cars, but it will still remain in the same group. This will give them a ground to experiment, an edge over other manufactures who cannot afford to play around when they are barely meeting their targets with their regular products.

Today maruti is the choice for almost all first time car buyers; thats not because they want a maruti, but they want a small, cheap and easy to maintain car. With a scion like youthful brand, the desirability can be shifted from owing a 4 wheeler to a suzuki brand.
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Old 25th February 2015, 19:06   #35
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Default Re: Maruti to focus on image facelift to go premium

[quote=mints21;3538113]India's largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki has decided to go for an image makeover.

A question out of curiosity. why should a person driving a Eon or an Alto not be given the same standard of service as a person driving a SX4 or a Santa Fe? Why do we want a feudal pecking order at service stations or on the Roads? If a person has a more expensive car, good for him, but why should he get a preferential treatment at service stations for that? Having purchased a expensive/premium car the customer should expect premium standards from the car purchased and not from the service station.
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Old 26th February 2015, 00:19   #36
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Default Re: Maruti to focus on image facelift to go premium

I see nothing wrong in Maruti trying to create a niche segment for their niche customers (so called - since Ciaz is their only premium offering currently.)

But it will be a herculean task for MISL to change customer perspective since Maruti has always been synonyms with value-for-money, cheap, reliable vehicles.

I am sure many people would have watched the series on " Secrets of Branding" currently being aired on History channel which details the Brand value, Brand recognition and the impacts it has on the psyche of the customer.

Maruti has done and will do well in the small car market but they will need fantastic and world class product offerings to showcase their "premiumness"

Just by opening premium dealerships and lounges isint going to help MSIL.

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Old 26th February 2015, 12:08   #37
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Default Re: Maruti to focus on image facelift to go premium

Perhaps we might see some re-branding - e.g. Brand Maruti being pushed for the lesser priced products and Brand Suzuki being pushed for the higher ones? Or maybe introduction of a new brand? Should be interesting to track...
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