The Nexa dealership channel has been quite successful for Maruti Suzuki in India and now in its 5th year, they're contributing significantly to its sales numbers. The Nexa dealerships were launched in July 2015 and the idea behind it was to reach out to the more aspirational customers. Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director, Marketing & Sales, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, said, "The reason we started with the brand was because we realised we needed a new channel for the more aspirational customers. It was about enhancing the buying experience. This was needed for the ever-evolving customers."
The Nexa dealerships, in these 5 years, have sold 1.1 million units contributing to 20-22% sales to the overall number of Maruti Suzuki India. In fact, Srivastava has a different take on this. He said, "As an independent brand it is the third largest among all the OEMs in the country. So, I think, if Nexa was an independent OEM, it would be the third-largest in terms of market share. And thanks to Nexa we have accomplished a brand positioning as well, so it's been very successful for us.
The first car to be launched under brand Nexa was the S-Cross and post that the company has added several products to its portfolio. While the S-Cross and Baleno were added in 2015, the Ignis and the Ciaz made it to this channel in 2017. Finally, in 2019, it was the XL6 that was added to the company's product portfolio and there are more coming.
In fact, we told you exclusively that whenever the company plans to kick start its electric vehicle sales, it too will be via the Nexa dealerships. With 371 showrooms in 200 cities, the Nexa dealerships is an ecosystem which brought in digitization and augmented reality to the showroom. The fact that the premium experience always needed supplementation of this technology has stood the company in good stead during the lockdown as well. Srivastava said, "Nexa continues to contribute to 20-22% to Maruti Suzuki India's overall sales even during the lockdown and the investments we have made make it strong to withstand such disturbances. Mind you, overall sales are down and Nexa sales are down too."
There are plans to expand of course but in these trying times, expecting dealers to make investments will be a tall ask. However, there's a plan in place. Srivastava said, "Obviously there's a need to spread geographically also, because the demands which were in the confines of the bigger cities (Tier 1, Tier 2) is now expanding, and it's not just for cars, but for all products. We are not looking at just the physical infrastructure but our share of the digital infrastructure. We are also looking on how to enhance the digital experience and that's what we are studying and taking appropriate measures for."