Maruti to rev up rural drive, targets 1.5 lakh villages
Betting big on India’s rural market, country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki is targeting to increase its penetration in rural areas by over 20 per cent to have presence in 1.5 lakh villages.
The company’s rural sales had increased by 23 per cent to 4,15,380 units in last fiscal, when it posted its highest ever total sales in a financial year. It had posted total sales of 12,92,415 units in 2014-15 beating previous best in 2010-11.
“In FY14-15 we established presence in 1.25 lakh villages. Target going forward will be to enhance presence in 1.5 lakh villages,” Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Executive Director, Marketing & Sales, RS Kalsi said. In 2013-14, the company had established its presence in 93,400 villages across the country.
“In FY14-15 our penetration in rural areas stood at 34.5 per cent (of total sales) as compared to 32 per cent in FY 13-14,” Kalsi said. The company’s rural sales had stood at 3,36,463 units in 2013-14 financial year, he added.
“At the start of the year (FY14-15), we targeted to sell at least one vehicle in 1.25 lakh villages. We have been able to reach even the smallest of villages- today more than 7 per cent of MSI’s sales are coming from villages with less than 200 households,” Kalsi said.
He added that sales in rural areas have been impacted due to delayed monsoon and recent unseasonal rains but evinced hope that things would improve in the coming days.
“Barring the current situation, the long term growth story of rural India looks good and promising..As infrastructural jobs reach rural India, the dependency on agriculture may come down,” Kalsi said.
With prosperity and growth in income levels in rural areas, the car sales will grow and match urban peers, he added.
“Again, companies that have invested in the right enablers are likely to benefit most from this growth,” he said.