Amara Raja Batteries, makers of the 'Amaron' brand, has announced expansion plans for its 'PitStop' concept. The battery maker plans to create 10 more PitStops in Tier-2 towns.
On the aftermarket strategy, Indeevar G, Head - Aftermarket, Automotive, Amara Raja Batteries, said, "We are seeing a trend of retail moving to the smaller cities. Having established a strong PitStop presence in Tier-1 cities, our strategy now is to focus on mini-metros and smaller towns, which we believe holds a lot of promise for our PitStop expansion programme."
The maker of industrial and car batteries introduced the concept of 'PitStops', on the lines of racing, with the intent of enhancing battery user experience starting with Mumbai in 2002. Customers can also get their vehicle electricals checked by experts at the PitStops, and these even serve as collection centres for used batteries for safe recycling.
Currently, 10 per cent of Amaron's aftermarket automotive battery sales come from Pitstops, according to the company. The percentage contribution from the PitStops is expected to remain at the same level on an increasing revenue base.
After the launch of the Amaron PitStop concept in 2002, the company has been focusing on Tier-1 cities and mini metros. "We have PitStops in all the major metros. Over the last year or so, we have started expanding into mini-metros like Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Vizag, Trivandrum, Chandigarh and Cochin. In the future, we will aggressively target Tier-2 towns like Nagpur, Surat, Dehradun, Allahabad, Bhatinda, Kottayam, Gwalior, Udaipur and Satna among others," Indeevar said.
The current expansion will take the total Amaron PitStop count to over 60. Even in the Tier-2 towns, the company expects the profile of the buying public to remain the same - all four-wheeler owners.
Asked whether the PitStops were competition for the company's retail network of 105 franchisees and over 7,000 active retail outlets, Indeevar said, "The PitStops enhance the brand image of Amaron and instill more confidence in the retailers about the product. The franchisees and retailers do not compete with each other. In fact, the retailers refer their customers to the PitStops for value-added services like ARBS diagnostics."