Maruti Suzuki India has announced a complete revamp of its True Value operations, designed to make pre-owned cars more attractive to vehicle buyers. Maruti True Value is the largest certified, used car dealer network in the country, with around 1,190 outlets across 936 cities.
True Value, which was first launched in 2001, redefined the pre-owned car market by offering a safe, reliable and hassle-free purchase experience for buyers of pre-owned cars. With demand for used cars picking up across the country, Maruti wants to accelerate growth in its True Value business. It has announced plans to set up around 150 new standalone outlets across India by March 2018. The new outlets will be setup by investments from interested dealers, along with Maruti will provide support in form of technical, branding, technology, among others.
True Value outlets typically certify a pre-owned car following evaluation on 376 check-points while also identifying refurbishment and service requirements. Following refurbishment at Maruti Suzuki authorised workshops, the car is inspected and rated on six parameters – engine, suspension, brakes, electricals, transmission and steering control, exteriors and interiors, after which a True Value certificate is issued. The certified car also get multiple free services and a one-year company-backed warranty.
These outlets will have a larger display area for a variety of pre-owned cars from the Maruti Suzuki stable and will be digitally integrated through a portal so that customers can access details of all the cars available at True Value outlets nation-wide. This, according to the company, will enable buyers to arrive at a choice and visit a True Value outlet to undertake a test drive. To ensure quality and reliability, pre-owned Maruti Suzuki cars will be selected, refurbished at Maruti Suzuki workshops and offered to customers with warranty and free services.
The new True Value outlets are aimed to give pre-owned-car buyers a feeling in par with new car buying. As per the company the market for pre-owned car is still dominant largely in the unorganised sector which does not offer comprehensive safety checks for the customer, also the hassle of legalities is something the buyer is burdened with, with the market size estimated to be around 1.2 times that of new-car sales.
Currently, the company has around 300 dealers catering to used car business and Maruti Suzuki sold around 350,000 vehicles in the last financial year with around 22 percent of these sales being of certified cars, that have increased from the levels of 10 percent three years ago. The company is expecting a uptick in the ratio to be around 30 percent of the total sales through True Value. As per the company, Maruti Alto followed by Maruti Wagon R are the most demanded cars from their dealerships, with the average replacement of new cars seen around after 4-8 years of purchase.
The new dealerships will have a capacity of 60 and 100 inventory, with inventory period of 20-25 days. True Value outlets will exclusively sell Maruti Cars. Speaking to Autocar Professional, Tarun Garg, executive VP, head of Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India, said, “Around 30 percent of the business for Pre-owned car business comes through exchange, while on an average 70 percent of used car owners switch to a new car in one or two years of their purchase. As we are getting 95 percent of inventory through exchange we are well poised to grow this model.”
According to Kenichi Ayukawa, MD and CEO, Maruti Suzuki, “We want to offer buyers of pre-owned cars the same experience as buyers of new cars. A network of spacious new outlets, using digital technology for customer convenience, will be a highlight of True Value. Our focus will be on quality cars, refurbished and certified with the assurance of warranty. A star rating for each car will help the True Value customers to make a right choice.”
(With inputs from Nilesh Wadhwa)