Maruti Suzuki's experiment to build a separate premium dealership chain to sell premium vehicles is showing encouraging results, with the subsidiary dealership already accounting for more than 11% of total sales and the company projecting that volume to expand further this year. Since the launching of NEXA showrooms in mid last year, Maruti has sold 40,000 units of the S Cross and Baleno through this concept of the dealership.
Initially, the sales were slow when the outlets were launched simultaneously with the S Cross, they were picking up as soon as the Baleno was added to the list of vehicles sold through the NEXA outlets. There are around 95 NEXA showrooms and the company plans to open 100 more in the next 12 months. Maruti sold 17,000 units of the S Cross crossover and 23,000 Baleno premium hatchbacks through NEXA by the end of December.
Commenting on this, Mr RS Kalsi Maruti’s Executive Director said,"Whatever we had envisioned, all that we have been able to implement. Outcome is excellent, in line with our estimates. We are already the segment leader in the crossover space and Baleno was the segment leader for the last two months".
Mr Gaurav Vangaal, Senior Analyst Forecasting, at IHS Automotive, said barring the starting trouble with the S Cross, the NEXA experiment has started on a right note with significant volumes. Adding to this, he said,"While retaining the value-for-money quotient, through NEXA, Maruti Suzuki has upped the premiumness and it seems to be working. But it is little too early to conclude as success, as this needs to be sustained for two-three years, before it becomes a well-oiled machine."
The NEXA concept was launched to provide a higher level of experience to those who shop for premium vehicles, compared with what Maruti's showrooms selling compact cars offer. Share of NEXA outlets to Maruti's total sales volume was a mere 3.39% in September, it has expanded to 11.29% in December. The company is expecting NEXA to contribute 15-17% of its total sales in 2016.
The next in line to be launched through the NEXA outlets are the updated Ciaz sedan and the Ignis Sub 4 metre compact SUV, which are set to debut later this year.