Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) is a joint venture between
Toyota Motor Corporation and the Kirloskar Group, for the
manufacture and sales of Toyota cars in India. It is currently
the >fth-largest carmaker in India after Maruti, Suzuki,
Hyundai, Tata and Mahindra.
The company currently manufactures >ve models, Corolla.
Innova, Fortuner, Etios and Etios Liva at its plants in Bidadi,
Karnataka. It also imports the Land Cruiser Prado, LC 200,
Camry and Prius models.
Set up in 1999 as a green>eld production operation and
headquartered in Bangalore, TKM today has two plants and
more than 180 dealers all over India. The Indian sub-continent
is geographically vast and this fact alone presents many
challenges to TKM’s aftermarket parts operation, the ef>ciency
of which is key to achieving customer satisfaction.
We have three warehouses, one in Bangalore, one in the
west in Pune and one in the north in Gurgoan,” says Mahesh
Salkar, TKM’s Vice President, Customer Service Division. “We
receive parts from Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and
other countries besides local supplier parts.”
Most of TKM’s aftermarket parts are delivered by road. “We
follow the just-in-time concept and parts must ?ow at the
same pace as customer demand, thereby minimising inventory
at the dealership. We strongly believe in small and frequent
ordering and delivery, and aim to reduce inventory at the
dealer level. We make a high immediate >ll rate of more than
deliver 80% of our parts within 24 hours and we try to
minimise ?uctuations. Some of the dealers in metropolitan
areas with very high volumes receive twice-a-day deliveries
from our warehouses.”
Today’s cars are generally more reliable than their
predecessors and the intervals between services are longer.
This means that customers have less need to visit the dealer
and presents a challenge when it comes to growing
aftermarket revenue.
Customers visit the dealership for two reasons,” says
Salkar. “Either for preventive maintenance, which is planned,
and you can anticipate the usage of what are basically fast-
moving parts such as oil >lters or air >lters, or because of
accident damage due to our traf>c conditions when we need
body parts and paint for repairs. The accident rate in India is
almost 100%. Each and every car in a year will need body parts
and paint. We have to optimise our body and paint operations
which is a complex process but key for our customers. Body
parts are very expensive and we try to offer transparent pricing.
When carrying out preventive maintenance, we
continuously focus on customer retention and act as a one-
stop shop by offering value-added services such as interior car
cleaning and the selling of tyres and batteries. We try to
understand all customer requirements. Conditions in India are
very dusty and we have huge opportunities in car cleaning
systems. How to utilise all these opportunities when
customers come to our dealerships is something we are
High accident rate
a challenge for
Indian aftermarket
Almost a year ago, Unipart Logistics won a new, three-
year contract with Toyota Kirloskar Motor to manage
aftermarket warehousing and distribution for Toyota cars
in India.
Sam Ogle
reports on a huge logistical challenge.
Mahesh Salkar, Vice President Customer Service Division, TKM