Will consumers shop Cars digitally in the near future?

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From a complete process of purchasing a car to doorstep delivery be done through an online process. Are car manufacturers coming up with new ways to restart their sales while being compliant with the social distancing norms of the lockdown?

COVID-19 has affected the global trade and businesses and the automobile industry is one of the worst-hit. The Indian automobile industry has come to a complete halt after the lockdown in March and had almost zero sales in April. This unprecedented pandemic has completely shattered the car manufacturing and sale business.

The Director of Sale and Marketing in SKODA India, Zac Hollis recently posted on Twitter about his concern. He quoted, “Well after 30 years in the Motor Industry this will be the first time in my career that I will have officially sold zero cars in a month. I know the business will return soon, in the meantime stay safe everyone and follow the Government guidelines wherever you are.”

Popular car brands have started to resume production at an initial slow pace along with the reopening of their dealership across the country.

According to the report Maruti Suzuki, the market leader, has reopened around 600 dealerships, Tata Motors is also beginning operations in nearly 200 dealerships and 300 workshops for passenger vehicles and over 400 sales outlets and 885 workshops for commercial vehicles, while Hyundai has commenced operations in 150 showrooms and 200 service centres. Both Hyundai Motor and Tata Motors Ltd have reopened some of their production units at a slow pace till the demand increases.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd led the change by introducing a ‘Click to buy’ campaign where a consumer could complete the whole process of buying a car. The consumer can select a model and apply for a loan and pay the amount completely digitally. Consumers can also request for doorstep delivery of the vehicle.

Tata motors have also launched a campaign called “click to drive” which is similar to Hyundai. Audi India has also started to digitalize their sales. They have also incorporated an augmented reality for the sale process where consumers can have a 360-degree product view before the purchase.

According to reports on media there has been an increase in searches for buying cars as in a post COVID era people will mostly prefer to travel in their own vehicles’ rather than public transport fearing the pandemic. This will prove to be a revival for the Indian automobile industry.

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