Maruti Suzuki Sacrifices Motorsport In Favour Of Experiential Drives — Wise Choice?

Maruti Suzuki is set to explore experiential activities after it announced its departure from motorsport. Maruti Suzuki as a brand had been sponsoring and supporting several legendary motorsport events in India, but has now withdrawn from it. The brand now seeks to explore experiential activities and drives to engage its target audience.

Marketing tactics and activities either make or break a brand, it seems like Maruti Suzuki has been doing it right for the last 32 years. Maruti Suzuki was the title sponsor for several national motorsport events for over three decades. It included events like the Raid De Himalaya, Desert Storm, Dakshin Dare and several national and regional autocross championships.

Recently though, Maruti Suzuki announced its withdrawal from motorsport as its main branding and marketing activity. Now, we have reports of Maruti Suzuki's plans regarding experiential drives.

The marketing team over at Maruti Suzuki feels that experiential drives in which the customer can be involved, is the way to go ahead for the company. Maruti Suzuki plans to organise city-based track events and inter-city drives to boost customer engagement.

Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director of Marketing & Sales for Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) was quoted as saying, "We found out from research that the consumers wanted something experiential. It was not enough for MSI to be seen as a company associated with motorsports (only), but subsequently they wanted something more which was something related with experiential driving."

He went on to say, "The consumer, who is slightly younger now, is becoming more aspirational and experiential. Besides, motor rally events are mainly limited to professional drivers and few enthusiasts with deep pockets." This thought process led Maruti Suzuki into another direction altogether to boost customer engagement that would directly or indirectly result in an increase in sales figures.

Shashank Srivastava went on to say that Maruti Suzuki would be aiming to organise events that can be more experiential for the customer. This according to him includes track events where people could come and drive the cars for themselves, and it also includes inter-city drives where buyers would be able to drive the car from one city to another.

Thoughts On Maruti Suzuki Planning Experiential Drives To Boost Customer Engagement

Planning experiential track events and inter-city drives is a brilliant idea and it will give customers an opportunity to experience Maruti Suzuki cars first-hand. However, sacrificing motorsport for these experiential drives is something Maruti Suzuki needs to seriously reconsider.

The name 'Maruti Suzuki' has been associated with motorsport in the country for such a long period of time that it has almost become a prefix for most of the major rallies. We have become so used to saying, 'Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare, Maruti Desert Storm & Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya.' Well, this aspect will certainly be missed.

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Article Published On: Monday, June 3, 2019, 15:56 [IST]
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