Passenger vehicle market leader Maruti Suzuki India has crossed the 50 lakh or 5 million units milestone in rural India sales. With over 1,700 retail outlets in the hinterland, the company has long recognised the potential of upcountry market and demand.
At present, nearly 40% of total MSIL sales come from rural markets. In FY2021, Maruti sold a total of 12,93,840 units, which means an estimated 517,536 units were sold in rural India.
Interacting with Autocar Professional today, Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), said that the top six models that sell in rural india are the Alto, Wagon R, Swift, Dzire, Eeco and the Baleno.
Commenting on the company's rural India mission, Srivastava said: “Rural markets have a very special place in our business. Over the years, we have carefully studied the needs of this segment. While the aspirations of upcountry customer are very similar to those at metros, they demand more attention and care. We adopted the philosophy of ‘Go Local’ with 12,500 specially trained dealership personnel called Resident Dealer Sales Executives (RDSE), who understand the local culture and traditions to fulfill the expectation of these customers.”
He added, “In 2008, MSIL strengthened its strategy with a focused and structured approach towards the rural hinterland, which was least affected by the global financial crisis then. We built on the network with the aim of ‘Ghar Ghar Mein Maruti’ to tap the immense potential in rural India. To engage deeper, we designed various local-level engagement initiatives.”
Also, to tap the changing aspirations of the rural customer, the carmaker has also introduced Its premium Nexa retail channel in upcountry markets.
In a recent interview with Autocar Professional, Srivastava said that Maruti Suzuki India plans to expand to 40 more cities including Tier 2 towns over the next few months. This will be specific to its vehicle subscription model, Maruti Subscribe.