The postman may be your next car dealer

Written by Prachi Karnik Pradhan | Mumbai, Apr 23 | Updated: Apr 24 2008, 06:13am hrs
The rapidly expanding Indian automobile sector has decided to leverage the postal departments nationwide network to increase the number of dealerships, especially in the rural areas. So far banks, insurance companies and financial institutions have entered into alliances with the postal department to increase their penetration.

MP Rajan, chief postmaster general of the Maharashtra circle, told FE that auto majors Tata Motors and TVS were the first to consider a possible tie-up. "The department of posts is currently exploring business propositions whereby Tata Motors and TVS will be in a position to increase their car dealership in rural areas. These companies have proposed to tap Tier-II and Tier-III cities by using the postal network," Rajan said.

Passenger cars are no longer an urban phenomenon. An increasing number of auto companies are aggressively making inroads into semi-urban and rural areas. For instance, in Tamil Nadu, an automobile company roped in the postal department to distribute pamphlets and dealership forms," Rajan said.

Rajan said postmen, while on their rounds, could also carry out market surveys for companies on household profiles with the help of questionnaires. The data collected would reveal the number of members in a particular family, their total income and loan repayment capacity, said Rajan. Another postal department official said there has been almost 15-20% increase in auto sales in semi-urban and rural areas.