NEW DELHI -- Maruti Suzuki India has begun operating service workshops under its premium Nexa brand, as India's top-selling automaker looks to offer 300 locations by 2020 that handle models such as the Baleno, Ciaz, Ignis and S-Cross.
The company, in which Japan's Suzuki Motor owns a 56% stake, unveiled the first Nexa Service center Wednesday in Gurgaon in northern Haryana state. The automaker said the center was built with the latest standards in mind.
Maruti Suzuki launched its Nexa retail chain in July 2015, and the brand now has over 200 showrooms. Nexa "has created 300,000 customers in 150 cities in two years," R.S. Kalsi, the automaker's senior executive director (marketing and sales), told reporters.
"Our initiatives as a brand are centered around three key aspects: design, technology and experience for our customers," he said. "Our focus is also on devising new ways and offerings to ensure that a customer remains our Maruti Suzuki customer [always]." Kalsi cited robust and rewarding after-sale service as the cornerstone of this relationship.
Partho Banerjee, the company's executive vice president (service), said service customers have distinct demands focusing on an assurance of quality repair and timely delivery. Nexa Service uses technology efficiently in order to address customer needs, he said, "while processes have been designed to maximize the customer comfort."
For the first time in India, customers can receive a "health check" of their vehicle at a dedicated diagnostic bay in the Nexa Service center. They also can get real-time updates on the status of their cars sent to their phones.
"We have employed the latest in automation and cutting-edge technology," Banerjee said.
This technology will be used to enhance transparency, Maruti Suzuki said, giving customers information on the nature of jobs being undertaken as well as costs in a convenient, paperless form.
Service at a Nexa workshop will cost about 10% more than at dealers' regular service centers, the company said. The automaker intends to have 60 to 70 Nexa Service workshops in top cities nationwide by March and targets about 300 by 2020.
"All the investment [in Nexa workshops] is being done by our dealers only," Kalsi said. "Maruti is providing all the design support, technical support, process support and system support." He estimated that dealer investment in a Nexa Service center would average 15 million rupees ($234,000).
Maruti Suzuki resolved about three years ago to transform itself to redefine the customer experience and attract new categories of consumers, Managing Director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said in a statement.
"Nexa was a first, important step in Maruti Suzuki's transformation journey," Ayukawa said. "Listening to customers, we have now created Nexa Service to take forward that promise."