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Maruti to abandon small car image

Maruti to abandon small car image

Apnaloan.com Research Bureau

21 May 2008

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL), India's first car-maker that defined small cars in the country, is slowly abandoning its 'small' image.

MSIL is putting in a series of measures aimed at giving it a more premium image. The company has roped in US-based Raytheon, specialising in training sales staff, to groom a team of elite sales people to cater to an increasing focus on premium cars.

These fresh recruits will be added to the dealer force, after special training with focus on developing soft skills, etiquette and customer handling.

MSIL's current sales force focuses mainly on the lower end of the car spectrum, consisting of small and medium-sized cars.

The company also plans to recruit a team of 1,000 engineers to ramp up its research and development (R&D). These engineers will be working at MSIL's new R&D centre to be set up soon.

Premium cars, or sedans, typically start at a price point of Rs 7 lakh, and higher. These steps are with an aim to set the agenda for this new focus on the higher end of India's car market. The total market is projected to touch 22 lakh vehicles by 2010.