The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Auto majors plan tieup with oil firms

Calcutta, Sept. 9: Leading car makers including Hyundai Motors India Ltd (HMIL) and Maruti Udyog Ltd (MUL) are in talks with public sector oil majors Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation to set up service stations in major cities.

Confirming the development, a senior BPCL executive said several auto makers have approached the company to set up servicing outlets. “Having service centres of automobile manufacturers at our outlets is a good idea. But space is the main problem as far as petrol pumps in the cities are concerned, where these companies are mostly interested in,” he said. “We will be definitely interested in the highways where our outlets have larger space,” he added.

Maruti and Hyundai, which are cut-throat rivals in the B and C segments, have decided to spread their servicing network across the country. “Compromising on prices cannot give any mileage as already the margin on every car sold has become very less. Hence, it is the after-sales service which is important to lure a customer,” a Maruti executive said. He, however, declined to comment on whether the company would enter into a tieup with any of the oil companies.

BPCL is not alone. HPCL has also been approached with similar proposals. Sources said HPCL plans to tieup with a couple of such companies particularly for its branded retail outlets—Club HP.

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