New Delhi: The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) will start selling mid-sized sedan Ciaz only from its premium retail chain Nexa from April 1.
With the move, the company is looking to strengthen portfolio of products offered through the Nexa chain. At present four products — Baleno, Baleno RS, S-Cross and Ignis — are sold through the channel.
Maruti Suzuki India is currently selling Ciaz through traditional outlets across the country.
“Ciaz is one of our premium vehicles launched through the existing channel, and that point of time we thought that after some time we will take a call,” MSI Executive Director Marketing and Sales R S Kalsi told reporters here.
“Now the time has come. We were waiting for our Nexa channel to reach a milestone of say 250 outlets. By March-end, the Nexa channel will grow to 250 outlets. So, for a popular product like Ciaz it gives us a very good reach,” he added.
With territory mapping, the company has evaluated that it will be able to cover 90-95 percent of places, where it is currently selling Ciaz through traditional channel, through 250 Nexa outlets, he added.
Launched in October 2014, MSI has so far sold over 1.5 lakh units of Ciaz in the country and it expects to close the current financial year at over 64,000 units.
“We have been able to achieve market leadership in A3 plus sedan segment through Ciaz, and today in this segment we are the highest selling company and in fact, our growth for this year would be more more 23-24 percent,” Kalsi said.
The sedan gels very well with Nexa core values and with the vehicle going to Nexa the retail chain would now certainly will be very strong, he added.
When asked if the company would add new features to the sedan, Kalsi said: “Not now. We might look at it at some appropriate time”.
MSI expects the contribution of Nexa to grow to around 15 percent of the total sales by end of 2017-18 with Ciaz moving to the retail chain.
Currently, the Nexa channel accounts for around 12 percent of the total sales.
“By 2020, with more models to come in, we expect the Nexa channel to account for 25 percent of the total sales in the domestic market,” Kalsi said.
When asked about the number of new Nexa outlets the company plans to open in the next fiscal, Kalsi said: “Though we do have a target but the focus now would be to enhance the experience at the premium outlets”.
MSI has so far sold over 2 lakh units from the Nexa channel.