Maruti and chill: India's largest car maker rolls out Netflix-like subscription
Maruti Suzuki on Thursday announced the start of its subscription plans for the large number of vehicles it offers in the Indian market in a bid to offer the flexibility of driving without the need to actually own the car. A model that is rather common in western markets and is only now gaining traction here in India, the subscription plans promise much lower investments and can be a viable option for first-time car buyers unwilling to commit to large financial commitments, especially in current times of economic uncertainties.
Maruti, in a press statement, announced it has tied up with ORIX Auto Infrastructure Services India to now offer its subscription plans in Delhi/NCR and Bengaluru. Interested customers can choose between a new Swift, Dzire, Vitara Brezza and Ertiga from Maruti Suzuki Arena network and between Baleno, Ciaz and XL6 from Nexa.
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The plans themselves range from periods between 12 months and 48 months, depending on the car selected. The monthly fee starts at ₹14,463 (all taxes included) for Swift LXi in Delhi on a 48-month period. This also includes expenses like maintenance, zero-dep insurance and 24x7 roadside assistance.
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But what happens at the end of a subscription period?
Customers can opt to upgrade the vehicle, extend or even buy the car at market price.
Maruti Suzuki is underlining the plethora of benefits of choosing such a subscription model for mobility requirements. "The vehicle subscription market is new to India and as such offers a huge untapped potential. Globally, penetration of such leasing programme varies between 5% and 30%," said Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director (Marketing and Sales) Maruti Suzuki India Limited. "The comprehensive Maruti Suzuki Subscribe initiative offers customers the multiple advantages and peace of mind from botheration of maintenance costs and insurance renewal."
Srivastava also added that the intention is to expand the subscription plan to more cities in the country. "Progressively, we aim to offer Maruti Suzuki Subscribe in 40-60 cities in the next 2-3 years," he said.
Several OEMs in the country are now considering rolling out similar subscription-based models. Tata Motors recently unveiled its subscription plan for Nexon EV while Hyundai - the company's subscription plans had been launched last year - also has a similar strategy for those not looking to invest the large amount needed to actually own a new vehicle. Some of the others in the leasing field of play are MG Motor India and Volkswagen.