TVS & Sons, the Southern Automobile firm is trying to find out if prospective buyers would find it convenient to choose cars on a TV screen. Well, the firm is all set to test a paradoxical dealership model that is perhaps a car showroom without any cars. This new set up will have internet enabled displays that will help visitors to check out brands.
Of course, there will be sales persons in the showroom, but will take up the avatar of a product adviser who will provide a balanced prospective and not push the sales. If a customer likes a model, a test drive vehicle will be send to their home at their convenient time. TVS is also planning to negotiate with car makers on the number of brands it should sell.
Regarding this, G Srinivasa Raghavan, Global President and CEO at TVS & Sons said that we live in a digital world right now and the buyers come to the showroom after checking the websites. Some even test drive a friend’s new vehicle and there is no necessity to have cars parked behind glass doors.
TVS has over 15 showrooms acrossIndiafor automobile makers such as Mahindra & Mahindra, Renault and Ashok Leyland. The car dealership business is sandwiched between the standardizing makers and price conscious buyers. The firm is planning to cut land, people and building costs to reboot a dealership business that runs on a very thin operating margin of 2 percent.
The TVS executive added that about 90 percent of the car dealers are losing money and many are looking at related businesses as well. Also, KVS Prakash Rao, president, Federation of Automobile Dealers Association said that the cost of setting a showroom reaches almost crores, but the profitability is not to that extent. In such a stressed out condition, cutting the cost would definitely become the trend.
Also, Tony Raphael, director and CEO of Focuz Motors, a car dealership chain in Kerala said that this concept of paradoxical dealership model will definitely be a hit in the metros, though it will be taking considerable time to take off in the subsequent tiers. Anyways, there is a set of potential buyers who prefer to touch and feel before purchasing vehicles.