The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India on Wednesday launched its multi-financier, online car financing platform ‘Smart Finance’. The company is initially launching the platform in 30 cities through its premium car retail chain Nexa, targeting salaried customers with plans to expand its mass market chain Arena and customer base by the fourth quarter of this fiscal.
Through the platform, the company is seeking to address the concerns of potential customers related to car finance in the ‘new normal’ by offering a comprehensive finance solution online with a bouquet of financing options, Maruti Suzuki India said in a statement.
“Under the Smart Finance platform, currently hosted on the NEXA website, we have partnered with several popular financiers to provide custom curated personalised loan offers for our customers. This digital service offers easy financing options and is completely transparent at each stage of the loan process,” Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Managing Director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said in the statement.
Among other advantages, he said, “The customer gets to customise the EMI by choosing the loan tenure and interest rate and select a preferred downpayment scheme.”
The platform enables customers to compare multiple scenarios for car loan and offers from different financiers, and make an informed choice of loan partner and loan tenure, the company said.
For this, Maruti Suzuki said it has currently partnered with eight financiers – HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, ICCI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Cholamandalam Finance, AU Small Finance Bank, Mahindra Finance and Kotak Mahindra Prime.
MSI Executive Director (Marketing & Sales) Shashank Srivastava told reporters in an interaction that MSI had started a pilot in August this year with the Nexa channel, which accounts for 18 per cent of its total sales.
Currently, Smart Finance will be available for salaried customers, but MSI plans to expand the base by including customers from other economic backgrounds and extend the service to Arena retail chain, which accounts for 82 per cent of MSI’s total sales by the fourth quarter of this fiscal, he added.
In the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, more and more customers are taking the digital route not only to research online for car purchases but also to seek financing options, Srivastava said.
MSI said its Smart Finance offers a wide variety of loan offers from multiple financiers, pre-approved and custom generated loan offers, complete online loan application process and digital documentation sharing along with real time, online status updates on loan application process.