Sunday, October 16, 2016

With Maruti, personalisation hits top gear


Your car is not just your personal mode of transport, it is also your unique style statement. After all, you are what you drive.
That’s what Maruti’s new customisation strategy seems to suggest. Eyeing young buyers and first-timers, India’s largest carmaker has introduced iCreate, an online platform that lets potential buyers personalise over 90 exterior and interior elements of a car.
So, if a fiery yellow exterior with red body graphics, designer alloy wheel covers, distinctive headlamps and tail lights, rear seat DVD player and speakers are what you want, iCreate makes it possible.
You have to make your specifications known while booking your car at a Maruti Suzuki dealership. And this will increase the delivery time by a mere two days.
“The goal is to be the destination of choice for young, first-time buyers and upgraders,” Vinay Pant, Assistant Vice-President (Marketing), Maruti Suzuki, told BusinessLine.
To begin with, customers can personalise the Vitara Brezza, the compact SUV. “People are looking for ways to express themselves. They are personalising mobiles and tablets. In such a scenario, the opportunity for cars — the second-most valuable purchase item after a house — is immense. It will enable our buyers to create a car that reflects his or her personality,” he said, adding that customisation options will soon be available on all Maruti models.
The user can customise the car on the website or at the dealership. “We have a configurator available in a tablet form at our dealerships. Users can ‘drag and drop’ the accessories, add them to the wish list, and get a cost estimate,” Pant said.
Maruti’s internal research showed that buyers spend about ₹24,000 on buying accessories for a Brezza after their purchase. The average for all Maruti cars is ₹10,500. “We are creating accessories specific to models. Customisation will complement our strategy for the brand and help customers make better choices,” said Pant.
The increase in the price of a vehicle after customisation will depend on the choices made by the customer. “The 90 elements, with various permutations and combinations, will give a wide array of choice to users,” he added.
Abdul Majeed, Partner at Price WaterHouse Coopers India, said personal mobility is fast getting customised. “With changing customer preferences, OEMs must adopt customisation in order to attract more customers,” he said.
Mahindra & Mahindra, too, offers customisation for some of its models, including Scorpio and Bolero. .

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