Auto makers go digital to sell BS-IV inventory

New Delhi : Due to the current lockdown, leading auto makers are tweaking their customer outreach strategy by harnessing the digital mode. With the Supreme Court having given a 10- day breather to sell 10% of unsold BS4 inventory and BS6 emission vehicles set to come in from April 1, auto makers have no other choice but to increase their digital footprint, say experts.

The digital mode has not been alien to auto companies, with most of them having used it during new launches. But a complete disconnect with customers would pose its own challenges, believe the likes of Hyundai, Maruti, Tata and Mahindra & Mahindra.The average Indian consumer is still not confident of buying a car online, says a senior marketing official at a car company. But online’s contribution as a touchpoint to the entire selling process – from origination to closure – is growing.

Interestingly, the online purchase of routine maintenance parts like oil filters, air filters have increased during this time, which is encouraging. Hyundai launched India’s first automobile online sales platform ‘Click to Buy’ for end to end car purchase in January this year, where all Hyundai models are available and this acts as an additional sales channel for the dealerships.

The retail selling has witnessed a tremendous shift since the last decade and the new generation is immensely inclined to buy products online, said SS Kim, Md and CEO , Hyundai Motor India.

This medium allows customers to choose the model line-up and configure the vehicle of their choice to select the exterior/interior colours along with the financing options online.

Car dealers have a different take as they say that this phenomenon is a temporary one. “Will there be such interest, when normalcy returns?”asked Nikunj Sanghi, a leading automotive dealer based in Mumbai.

Sanghi said the touch and feel is still important for consumers buying cars, especially in India.

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