Maruti Suzuki does provide its cars to car rental services, but a new lease scheme will be beneficial for both, the company’s dealers, as well as the company itself
Just like all other automobile manufacturers in the Indian market, Maruti Suzuki is also going through one of its worst phases ever, with monthly sales touching new lows. However, the carmaker is considering offering its cars on lease, in order to bring the sales back up to normal.
Rivals including Hyundai Motor India Ltd and Mahindra & Mahindra already offer leasing options for its cars to retail customers in the country. Now Maruti Suzuki is also exploring the possibility of entering the retail customer space as the company already leasing cars to businessmen, self-employed professionals and corporates. Two people aware of the plan said that this has been in the works for about a year now, and is being led by a special projects team.
This strategy would bring an additional revenue stream for the company’s dealers during this economic crisis. Manufacturers usually tend to partner with car rental startups including Zoomcar and Revv for offering their vehicles on lease to customers. Luxury automakers like Mercedes-Benz India and BMW India also offer their own respective leasing plans for buyers.
Vehicle leasing service is a common practice in other markets in North America and Europe. However, it has started to gain pace in the Indian market since just about two years. This method would help Maruti Suzuki help target urban customers are likely who prefer leasing a vehicle rather than buying it, given the declining affordability.
“Maruti’s plans to foray into retail vehicle leasing is a well thought out strategy as some consumers don’t want the hassle of owning cars. So, leasing appears to be an excellent alternative to buying a car,” said Puneet Gupta, Associate Director – Vehicle Forecasting, IHS Markit.
The people in the know of this said that there is no official date when the said service will be launched, but a dedicated projects team has been working on this. Maruti has already been providing its cars to car rental platforms like Zoomcar, but providing cars for lease through its dealerships itself will help both the dealers, as well as the company.