Guwahati: Country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki on Sunday said it will expand its presence in rural and remote parts of North East as it expects "rapid growth" in this region over the next 3-4 years.
The company, which first opened its outlet in North East 30 years ago at a time of rolling out its first car in the country, currently sells an average of 3,000 vehicles every month in the region.
"North East market has always been very important for Maruti Suzuki...We believe that there is huge opportunity in rural areas of North East states, besides the major cities," Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Chief Operating Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek said.
Currently, this region contributes around 4 percent to the total domestic volume of MSI and it is "significant considering the socio-geographical nature of the region", he added.
Asked about growth expectations from the region, Pareek said: "We are very confident that this share will only rise in coming years as North East offers vast potential. The region is expected to grow rapidly over the next 3-4 years. However, putting a number to that will not be prudent."
The company had sold a total of 10.5 lakh vehicles in the domestic market in 2012-13. Out of that, around 40,000 units were contributed by the North Eastern states, translating to a sales revenue of approximately Rs 1,200 crore.
Among all the North Eastern states, Assam contributes the highest in terms volume with a share of almost 60 percent in the total sales of MSI from the region.
"However, as road and other infrastructure develops, going forward we expect the share of other states to increase. The awareness about advantages of a dependable personal vehicle will surely bring more opportunity for us," Pareek said.
To increase sales, the company is expanding its dealership and service network across the region that is geographically challenging.
"We are planning to expand all across North East region. However, our primary focus would be to expand our reach in rural areas of the region. We want to be present to customers in far flung areas of the entire North East.
"North East region has always found special focus in company strategy for reach, volumes and customer service. Maruti Suzuki products have always found deep trust among customers in North East. Based on the potential, we have progressively increased our sales and service network in the region," Pareek said.
At present, MSI network has 39 dealer showrooms and 52 workshops in the region. The first showroom came up in the region 30 years back in 1983, when the then Maruti Udyog Ltd had begun making and selling cars in India.