The nationwide lockdown holding people into their homes is drawing closer to an official end on 17 May but even so, we all know by now that life will not resume to absolute normalcy just as yet. Consumer behaviours and patterns will have changed by the end of the lockdown and a lot of us will not want to visit a showroom if we do plan to buy a car. Automobile manufacturers understand these aspects and hence several have already launched digital platforms to book a car or test drive it or have it delivered at home through contactless proceedings. Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Mahindra, Tata Motors, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and others have all introduced their online marketplaces for cars.
Taking the example of recently launched Mahindra Own Online digital platform, we’re pasting screenshots for reference to what your online car booking experience will look like. Simply head to the manufacturer’s official website where you will find a link to online booking. Select your model of choice, colour, customise with add-ons and accessories, along with your preferred dealership.
The portal will also allow you to pick insurance and finance options with your preferred bank. Make the initial payment to book your car. Your to-be car is then sanitized thoroughly before delivery. It really isn’t any more difficult than ordering pizza online.
Maruti Suzuki has put in place a comprehensive standard operating procedure across its sales outlets and bolstered its online-booking system for vehicle purchases. The company, which has around 3,080 dealerships across 1,960 cities and towns in the country, has managed to open 474 Arena outlets, 80 Nexa dealerships and 45 CV sales outlets. Maruti Suzuki has also started door-step deliveries of cars.
Honda from Home
Honda Cars launched the “Honda from Home” initiative late last month. It is an online platform offering a digital car buying solution. Honda’s new Honda from Home website will allow customers to book their planned Honda car purchase on the official website of the manufacturer while sitting at home during the lockdown. Honda says that “Honda from Home” can be accessed round-the-clock from any location and it will soon integrate Honda’s entire dealer network in India.
Hyundai Click to Buy
Earlier in April, Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) announced the pan India expansion of its ‘Click to Buy’ online sales platform. With the new platform, the company has integrated over 500 dealerships across the length and breadth of the country. In January 2020, Hyundai had launched a ‘Click to Buy’ in a pilot phase with a few dealers of Delhi-NCR region and the same has now been extended across India. The company said that all its models including the all-new Creta and Verna are available on ‘Click to Buy’ website that serves as an additional sales channel for Hyundai Dealerships.
Volkswagen announced the digitizing of its sales and service portfolio late last month, enabling customers with the flexibility to choose their preferred Volkswagen sitting at home. VW India has integrated its 137 sales and 116 service touchpoints in this process thus allowing bookings online. To book a car or service product, customers can visit Volkswagen India’s website and browse through the range of models on display, gather product details and the relevant pricing information.
Premium luxury car manufacturers with online transaction platforms:
Like several other companies that started online bookings by the end of April, Mercedes-Benz India joined the bandwagon with Merc From Home. All the Mercedes-Benz dealers in India are in sync with this online operation. A Mercedes-Benz sales representative will guide the customers on the features as well as other procedures, should they need assistance.
BMW India commenced online bookings for its cars in April. The program called Contactless Experience allows customers to check new as well as used cars online. At the same time, customers can schedule home delivery of their vehicles. The vehicle is handed over only after a thorough sanitisation process. The vehicle documents are presented in a sanitised envelope.
This just in, Audi India has also commenced its new digitised sales platform which makes use of the latest form of Augmented Reality technology. It features a full 360° Product Visualiser and customers can book their model of choice from the Audi India website. Additionally, existing customers can now book a service on the official website with the option of doorstep pick-up and drop. It is planning to introduce real-time updates and online payment portals soon.
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