Maruti Suzuki’s Chairman Mr. R.C.Bhargava, in an interview to EconomicTimes, had an interesting take on the expectations of car buyers in India. He said that Indian car buyers are very demanding and wanted Audi-BMW level luxury in cars priced at just 5-7 lakh rupees. But what did he really mean? We explain.
Mr. Bhargava said this as an answer to this question: How do you plan to position the brand (Maruti Suzuki) by 2020?
It is true that as we go along customers are going to demand more and more features in smaller cars, features which some years ago people used to only get in the luxury cars like a BMW or an Audi. Today those features are being demanded by people who buy a car in the Rs 7-10 lakh or even a Rs 5-7 lakh range and that is what I think all manufacturers will have to do. We have to give to customers what he wants and as volume grows in this segment, the cost will come down anyway because it is largely electronics and in electronics, the higher the volume, the lower the cost.
So, clearly Mr. Bhargava is fine with customers demanding high-end car features in budget cars. In fact, Maruti’s future cars will have many features that once used to be available only on high-end cars such as Audis, BMWs and Mercedes Benzes.
Already, we have cars such as the Ignis and Vitara Brezza offering a high level of customization, which was something available only on premium cars. Other premium car features such as Day Time Running LEDs, touch screen infotainment units, smartphone mirroring, rear AC blowers and CVT automatic transmissions are now available on budget Maruti cars. This trend will only accentuate in future with buyers better informed, and getting more discerning, and demanding. However, Maruti will continue to maintain its focus on fuel efficiency, a