INTERVIEW : MAHESH KUMAR M | GM AT UNITED TRADERS SYNDICATE PVT. LTD.Posted On: December 13, 2018 By : AutoLife Team
The compact SUV segment being an already hot segment, dense with all the options that a customer can choose from, has become one the of the most exciting and competitive automobile sector in Nepal. With an array of vehicles to choose from, this is hard market to crack and leave an impression. However, this hasn’t stopped Toyota from getting into this market, and they have made pretty evident that they will leave their impression in this market with their all new compact SUV, the Rush. We had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Mahesh Kumar M, the General Manager at United Traders Syndicate Pvt. Ltd. and discuss on how the Rush is doing in the market and how have Toyota Nepal planned to further market the Rush. Let us find out what we has to say about it and the future of Toyota in general.
WITH THE TOYOTA RUSH ALREADY DOING WELL IN THE MARKET, WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE BRAND IN THE COMPACT SUV SEGMENT?
Well, we introduced the all new Toyota Rush in the Nepalese market to provide the customer as an option for an affordable SUV in its range. Although the model is not in comparison to our Land cruiser series, it is a perfect SUV for the Nepalese Market. The Rush has done wonders throughout every country it has been launched and we aim to reach at least 20% of the Compact SUV boom Market of Nepal within the middle of next year. In terms of our brand, I believe Toyota Worldwide is planning to introduce new models in various segments and have been focusing their attention to South West Asian and Asia Pacific countries. We believe that these new models would be appropriate for countries like ours and will be launched pretty soon in the near future.
BEING IN ONE OF THE MOST COMPETITIVE SEGMENTS IN THE FOUR-WHEELER INDUSTRY, WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES THE RUSH UNIQUE AND THE USP OF THE VEHICLE THAT MAKES IT STAND OUT FROM ITS COMPETITORS?
This segment is definitively competitive, but what separates us or our products throughout Nepal or even worldwide is the Quality, Durability and Reliability of our products. Also, in terms of Rush, the product has been made specifically for a market like ours, with the 220mm minimum running ground clearance, ASEAN NCAP 5-star Safety Ranking, Hill Assist, 6 Airbags, EA, VSC, SUV driver point of view, Submersion Ratio of the vehicle to transverse the flooded alleyways or the river banks of Nepal. Along with such technical aspects, we believe that the Rush has an exterior that gets its design cues from Toyota’s Rav4 or FORTUNER, through its bold, dynamic design and exterior. You need to drive the RUSH to feel the reason why once people own a Toyota, they are a Toyota customer for life.
HOW MUCH OF THE MARKET SHARE ARE YOU PLANNING TO CAPTURE WITH THE RUSH? AND WHAT KIND OF APPROACH ARE YOU TAKING IN TERMS OF MARKETING THE VEHICLE?
We want to start slowly and are only targeting 20% of the current compact SUV market share. As we are in terms of product positioning and price positioning differently from the current brands presence of other products, we want to introduce the Rush as the next step to our current available models. In terms of marketing, we have been a little more aggressive with the Rush.
We have been currently using print media, online media, reviews, road tests, touch and feel sessions, social media platforms and so-on. We are taking an overall 360-degree marketing strategy to put the product presence at the point of contact to the lead customers of the Toyota Rush.
HOW HAVE YOU PLANNED TO GO ON ABOUT THE AFTER SALES SERVICE OF THE VEHICLE?
Not only Rush but any product we launch needs to have the best after sales service. In terms of our service personnel, we had our Toyota technicians attend the Rush’s technical training in Thailand to handle any kind of service related issues and provide the best service. In terms of our spare parts availability, we have always maintained a proper stock level to provide any of our customer with quick, prompt and easy service.
AS OF RECENTLY, HOW HAS THE MARKET SCENARIO BEEN FOR TOYOTA?
Previously we have had a major share and were market leaders in luxury SUV, pick up and commuter segments. Now, we have finally launched a SUV in our lineup for the middle high-income segment customers who can own and experience the Toyota quality.
LASTLY, WHAT OTHER VEHICLES ARE YOU PLANNING TO BRING IN THE NEPALESE MARKET?
Well, we are working on some new model introductions in the near future and we definitely want to expand our reach of lineup for the customers. As and upon confirmation, we shall release some statements in future for some confirmed introduction timings and other details for any new lineup.