Tata Motor to replicate Maruti Suzuki’s rural model

Mumbai: New head of car division Mayank Pareek wants to synergise Tata Motors’s commercial vehicle network for ramping up sales in rural markets There is a new phenomenon, which is the emerging markets or rural markets. Our brand is acknowledged and respected there, so there is a clear advantage. We need to do a lot of work and hard work in terms of penetration– Mayank Pareek

Tata Motor to replicate Maruti Suzuki’s rural model

Mayank Pareek, former COO of sales and marketing at Maruti Suzuki, who recently joined Tata Motors, is looking to replicate the time-tested rural model and change the fortunes of car unit of Mumbai-headquartered auto major.
At present, rural region accounts for only 16% of Tata Motors’s car sales.

Pareek is focused on expanding the spread and penetration in the rural markets, which has been lacking despite Tata Motors having a good brand presence there.

“Best of the competitors have 30% of their cars sold in the rural market. And I think Indian market can be 50:50 between urban and rural,” said Pareek.

“There is a new phenomenon, which is the emerging markets or rural markets. Our brand is acknowledged and respected there, so there is a clear advantage. We need to do a lot of work and hard work in terms of penetration,” he said.

With almost two months in the company as the head of passenger vehicle business unit (PVBU), Pareek said he has already visited 90% of company’s existing dealers.

While Maruti Suzuki, the top car maker in the country, has covered almost 90% of the rural market, Tata Motors has a coverage of about 30%.

“Out of 3,600 odd tehsils, we would be present in may be less than 200. There is a huge blue ocean to expand. Tata Motors has a natural advantage to penetrate,” said Pareek.

In order to grow its presence in the hinterland, the company is looking at having synergies with Tata Motors’s existing commercial vehicle (CV) dealers in the smaller cities and towns. “It will be foolish if we don’t look at it. We have it ready-made, we could tweak it a bit to reflect the car experience. We will certainly look into it,” he said.

Apart from the wider network coverage, the company is also aiming at launching two completely new products every year. Starting with Zest, the all-new sub-4-meter sedan, the company will soon launch Bolt hatchback this fiscal.

“Our sales de-grew 23-24% in first quarter of this fiscal, which improved to a decline of 10% in Q2 and we are very bullish for the coming quarters. There is a long distance to go as we want a podium finish. By sustained improvement in customer service, sustained focus on quality and with continuous launch of new products, I think we are poised for significant growth,” said Pareek.

Ahead of the Bolt launch, Pareek said the company under-targeted the demand for Zest. Currently, the company is ramping up capacity to bring down the waiting period for the car. For the AMT variant, the waiting period is around six months, while for petrol it is around 3-4 months. The company has sold about 10,000 units of the car and has pending orders for about 6,000 units.