Maruti Suzuki eyeing Mideast push
Manama, January 8, 2013
Indian carmaker Maruti Suzuki is to expand its presence in Bahrain and other Middle East countries, it emerged yesterday.
Company executive director Sashank Srivastava said the company was looking at making its presence felt in the Bahrain market with an aggressive marketing campaign and creating more awareness about the brand.
"Part of our brand awareness will centre around making people more oriented towards smaller cars as opposed to the larger SUV's," Srivastava told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"The trend in this part of the world is towards large cars that are heavy on fuel but that does not make a difference because of low fuel prices. Since we do not manufacture large cars, we find that to be somewhat of a deterrent," he added.
He said two of the Suzuki cars manufactured in India, the Celerio and Desire, are now available in Bahrain, with more 'made in India' models on the way. "Other Suzuki models now available in Bahrain are imported from Japan."
Srivastava said the company has started negotiations with its Bahrain dealers Mohammed Jalal and Sons on how to improve its presence and share in the Bahrain market.
"A lot of positive suggestions have come and we are looking at how to implement them. Over the next few months, we shall have the results of those suggestions," he noted.
He said 40 per cent of the nearly 50,000 strong annual Bahrain car market consisted of SUV's. "That is where the other carmakers score over us," he added.
He said Suzuki's car pricing was also very competitive and it was a misconception that its cars were more expensive. "The strong yen and exchange rates could be a factor but we are still very competitively priced."
Srivastava, who is based at the company headquarters in New Delhi, is visiting Bahrain at the invitation of the Bahrain dealers.
Maruti Suzuki India international marketing country manager Arvind Charlapally, Mohammed Jalal and Sons automotive division general manager Jamal Al Sayed, parts manager Ian Johnston and financial controller Kabi Mazumder were present.-TradeArabia News Service
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