Maruti Suzuki's experts analyse why enquiries for hatchbacks like Maruti Swift, WagonR and S-Presso are higher than vehicles in other segments after the partial lifting of lockdown.
India’s largest-selling passenger carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, has recently revealed that after resuming operation post the easing of the lockdown, the company is seeing higher enquiries for hatchbacks like Maruti Swift, WagonR and S-Presso than that of SUVs or sedans. During this tough period, as expected by the Indo-Japanese company, there will be a greater offtake from the first-time car buyers who are in the market for functionality rather than from existing car owners who seek for upgrades.
It is pretty sad that Maruti Suzuki, along with any other automakers, failed to make a single transaction last month. Before the imposition of the countrywide lockdown, Maruti Suzuki used to register around 4,000 – 5,000 new car booking every day. Following the partial lifting of the restrictions, the company has started clocking around 6,000 bookings in a week. It is a good signal that the daily number of bookings is on the rise, thereby showing the revival of the customer’s sentiments.
Until the middle of this week, Maruti Suzuki has opened 1,150 showrooms and managed to dispatch nearly 3,000 vehicles. Out of the total inquiries, almost 65% have been for hatchbacks.
“I am not saying it is a trend – it is very early to say that. But this is the most definitive thing I can say at the moment”, said Shashank Srivastava, Maruti Suzuki’s Executive Director – Sales & Marketing.
Maruti Suzuki has pointed out four different factors that impact on the buyer’s decisions these days. Firstly, in the recent scenarios, when buying a car is rather a discretionary purchase, the customer is not as confident in making a deal as he was before the lockdown. Therefore, going for functionality seems to be a safer choice rather than looking for social status or upgrades. That means people who are really in need of a car will be venturing out to buy one. Also, the percentage of the first time car buyers in the group of functionality will be higher than those of the upper segments.
Secondly, as analysed by Maruti Suzuki, consumers in such situations will usually gravitate around the well-known established car brands for a securer buy. Thirdly, the sales of smaller cars will be increased, given the fact that buyers are searching for private transport instead of the public ones due to the health crisis. And lastly, financing is one of the key factors that push the demands for the budget-end segment. As the lockdown has made almost every aspect of life come to a halt, most of the people are seeing tighter financial situations, which may lower the budget for buying a car. As a result, the segment of smaller vehicles is expected to receive a bigger push than that of the more expensive ones.
Another trend these days is that of higher emphasis on the digitalization. Digital touchpoints have been reinforced to boost the vehicle purchases amidst the current situation. Online bookings have grown considerably after the easing of lockdown. Therefore, Maruti Suzuki is trying to digitalise the financing part of the buying process.