Feb 16, 2017 01:35 PM IST | Source:

Maruti eyes respite from long wait for cars sold at Nexa outlets

The company currently sells three cars through its Nexa showrooms – hatchback Baleno, urban compact vehicle Ignis and cross-over S-Cross.

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Dhirendra Tripathi

A long waiting period for the cars you manufacture is a nice cushion to have. And giving Maruti Suzuki India that comfort feeling are the cars sold through NEXA -- retail outlets for selling premium vehicles of India’s largest passenger carmaker by volumes.

The company currently sells three cars through its Nexa showrooms – hatchback Baleno, urban compact vehicle Ignis and cross-over S-Cross.

Baleno has a waiting period of as long as 6 months. Ignis, launched a little over a month ago, has a waiting time of 8-10 weeks. And if you want to buy the company’s premium cross-over S-Cross, be prepared to hang on for a month.

The company so far has 200 NEXA showrooms spread across 121 cities. It had till the end of last month sold over 185,000 vehicles since the launch of the NEXA concept in July 2015.

By the end of next month, the company expects to have sold 200,000 vehicles through those outlets.

The Gujarat plant -- owned by Maruti’s parent Suzuki Motor – started trial production last month. With this, the company expects to “bring some respite to customer waiting periods.” It may be mentioned here that the company is initially producing only Baleno at the Gujarat plant.

“Our manufacturing plants are running at full capacity...Our production teams are making all possible efforts to enhance production of Baleno,” the company said in its response to a Moneycontrol query.

Clearly, the company underestimated the demand for the hatchback, launched in October 2015.

“The production volume for Baleno was decided based on several factors, primarily guided by the sales of existing models in the compact segment. Post launch, based on market demand, Baleno production has been progressively increased. However, the customer demand continues to be high,” Maruti said.

In 10 months of this financial year (April-March), Baleno has averaged a monthly sale of over 9,600 units.

A manager at a Nexa showroom said while he initially told the customers the wait period was six months, often, the delivery was made in not more than five months – sometimes even in four months.  The company said customers could expect further improvements in supply of Baleno.

Looking at Nexa outlets and the waiting periods of the cars they are selling, it’s quite a sweet spot Maruti finds itself in. The company touts NEXA as an automobile company’s first initiative to go beyond selling cars and create a new format of lifestyle experience for the customers. Surely, a little wait is a small thing for that lifestyle experience.  

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