Maruti Suzuki is foraying into the car 'lease' business in the Indian market, states a Livemint report. Though, two of Maruti's closest rivals, Hyundai and Mahindra, have already been in the car lease biz. Sources close to the development say that this plan hasn't been made overnight but it is in the works for about a year now. The Maruti car lease model is being spearheaded by a special project team within the company. This move from the country's largest automaker comes on the sidelines of declining sales numbers due to nationwide lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s still not clear when this will be launched, but the projects team has been working on this. Maruti has been giving its cars to Zoomcar and other platforms, but if they plan to go through the dealers, then it will help dealers as well as the company," sources told. However, Maruti Suzuki's vehicle leasing model will be different from its rivals as it intends to tap its massive dealership network across the country for this business. The company is yet to issue an official statement regarding this new development. But considering the recent dip in sales numbers, it could be a well thought strategy for Maruti and might return some much needed additional revenue to the company.
Previously, various automakers didn't directly venture in the car lease business but collaborated with various startups such as Revv and Zoomcar to offer their vehicles on lease to retail customers. As far as luxury vehicle segment is concerned, Mercedes Benz and BMW are already offering customized leasing plans to their customers. The leasing stuff is something that hasn't gained popularity in India yet as compared to the developed markets such as American and Europe. Maruti’s plans to foray into retail vehicle leasing is a well thought out strategy as some consumers don’t want the hassle of owning cars, said Puneet Gupta, associate director, vehicle forecasting, IHS Markit.