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Maruti to expand service outlets

K. T. Jagannathan

This will be achieved without increasing service space

CHENNAI: Maruti Udyog Ltd. (MUL) is working on a major initiative to double the capacity of its existing service outlets by 2010. MUL is hoping to achieve this without expanding the current service space. The company has 2,166 service outlets in 1,119 cities. These outlets service around 24,000 to 25,000 vehicles a day.

Maruti has already initiated pilot programmes in ten outlets. Based on the results of these programmes, the company will bring other service outlets also under this exercise. The exercise comes in the wake of rising real estate prices. Jagdish Khattar, Managing Director, said the current initiative involved transplantation of manufacturing process and techniques on service outlets. It would require over Rs. 4,000 crore to double the service capacity through the greenfield route, Mr. Khattar said. Given the huge cost involved, MUL had chosen a different route to expand capacity. A newly created service division was working in close co-ordination with a manufacturing team to facilitate capacity expansion by re-engineering the design of these service outlets.

The rising number of Marutis triggered the service capacity expansion move. There would be around ten million Maruti vehicles on Indian roads by 2010. The company had to gear up to service this number. Given this, it was imperative to cut down the turnaround time of a vehicle in service stations. The current exercise was aimed at achieving this with only a reasonable incremental cost. The MD was confident that the exercise would bring about a huge difference in the ability and quality of the company's service stations.

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