Maruti Suzuki to hire sales staff from five-star hotels and luxury car companies for image makeover
India’s car market leader, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. seems to be very serious about giving itself a complete image makeover. The Indo-Japanese car major, which is known to be the mass market car maker with its highly reliable, highly fuel efficient and affordable cars, now wishes to put on a premium appeal to its brand identity. Maruti, the small affordable car specialist is thus not only preparing to offer a range of larger and premium car models, but is also set to get a more up-market brand identity.
In this process of its overall image makeover, Maruti Suzuki India has decided to hire sales staff from five-star hotels as well as from luxury car makers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Maruti is also planning to recruit specialized employees who are highly equipped in soft skills. Maruti’s previous attempts to enter the premium segment have not been very successful with the low selling SX4 sedan, Grand Vitara SUV and the Kizashi premium sedan. A top official who recently retired from the company commented that Maruti’s cars are not taken into consideration when buyers upgrade their cars as they do not carry premiumness. Buyers who go for premium segment cars do consider maintenance cost, finance options as well as fuel efficiency. So far, the luxury car manufactures have been tasting success providing an overall combination of these elements when they sell a car.
However, Maruti Suzuki is all prepared to make a fresh start aiming to capture the premium segment with the upcoming launch of the Ciaz midsized sedan, followed by the S-Cross crossover. Maruti wishes to give the brand a premium feel by luring in car consumers who wish to get that special up-market look and feel other than just aggressive pricing and high fuel efficiency.
Maruti has decided to upgrade the customer interface to sell its upcoming premium offerings in India. The authorized Maruti Suzuki dealership outlets in the country will be recruiting staff from several industries including that of hospitality, insurance, and luxury car companies. Maruti Suzuki will also offer special options for its potential premium customers, such as taking a test drive car model straight to the customer’s residence or office for demos and test drives. The newly recruited staff will also get special training on optimal soft skills. They will also wear special premium uniforms with fancy jackets and ties, while carrying tablets to quickly demonstrate the Maruti cars’ edge over its rivals. To execute this plan Maruti Suzuki will set up a core team that will start operations from the top 20 cities to start with.