Maruti targets motorcyclists with switch incentive

In a bid to increase its market share, passenger car market leader Maruti is now targeting motorcycle owners in Mumbai and contiguous areas to persuade them to upgrade to driving its cars.

The company has launched a scheme that will allow motorcycle owners to trade in their two-wheelers and avail a discount of Rs25,500 on the 800cc Maruti Alto, India's largest selling car. This is the first incentive offer of its kind to bike owners to upgrade to four wheels. The Alto carries a price tag of Rs2.3 lakh (ex-showroom) in Mumbai.

The company's dealers in the Mumbai region, which covers Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan and some other areas have come up with the exchange offer to tap into the two-wheeler market and counter the increasing competition in the small-car market.

Several new small cars have already been launched and there are more in the pipeline. Also sales of the Nano, from Tata Motors' stable, the world's cheapest car are growing at fast clip.

The advertisement for the offer carried by newspapers on 10 August plays on safety and ease of driving of a car especially during the monsoons.

''Skip the risky two-wheeler skid. Give your family more safety this monsoon. Drive India's favourite family car,'' the advertisement urges motorcyclists.

The move is obviously meant to expand the market for the 800cc Alto, say industry watchers.