With the Nexa retail chain, Maruti Suzuki showed that having specialised outlets for selling premium products was a good idea. However, it's a proposition that – for different reasons – won't work for every carmaker. Case in point, Mahindra won't be setting up a new, separate dealer chain for its upcoming premium products, but will instead redesign existing outlets to incorporate a special Prime zone. The designated zone will display the premium offerings from the carmaker, including the Marazzo MPV, Mahindra's version of the G4 Rexton, and, possibly, the S201 compact SUV as well.
Speaking to Autocar India at the Marazzo name reveal event, Veejay Ram Nakra, Chief of Marketing & Sales (Automotive Division), Mahindra & Mahindra, revealed why the company decided against setting up Nexa-style premium dealerships and instead chose to have a demarcated zone in its existing showrooms.
"I think every brand will have its own approach (to selling premium products). The idea is to always give a differentiated experience to customers who are buying a more expensive product. Hence, our approach has been that instead of going out and setting up a very heavy-asset, high-capex and high-revenue-expense model for dealers, we want to keep it light. And, hence, we thought we'll carve out space in the existing showrooms," said Nakra.
Apart from sporting a different colour scheme and decor, the Prime zone is also likely to include a lounge area and a virtual reality zone, where customers can view how their cars would look in a certain colour, or when specified with certain accessories.
While this means that the same showroom which retails a Bolero will also retail a Rexton, it also means all of Mahindra's new products will be available pan-India from the day of launch. In contrast, the Maruti S-cross was initially available only in select locations because, at the time of its launch, Nexa showrooms were only present in a few cities.
Deriving its name from a Spanish word for 'shark', the Marazzo MPV will be offered in seven- and eight-seat configurations, will debut a new 1.5-litre diesel engine and will go on sale before Diwali. After the Marazzo, Mahindra is expected to introduce the S201 compact SUV (which will also be in showrooms just in time for the festive season), followed by the rebadged G4 Rexton towards the end of 2018.
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