The Current Status Of The Indian Automobile Industry
The Indian automobile sector has not had the best years lately. With the coronavirus pandemic, auto sales in India took a further blow. India’s auto sales volume will take another 3-5 years to reach 2018 levels.
There is a significant drop in the demand rate. The carmakers have to level up the prices of their cars due to the new government regulations to adopt tougher emission standards. This has resulted in customers not showing interest in buying high priced vehicles.
The passenger vehicle sales in India rose to 3% to 3.37 million units in the 2018-19 fiscal year. However, it later fell by 18% in the next year due to the weak customer demand and onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, the sales of domestic and SUV vehicles in India fell by 50% last year. While the two-wheeler sales fell by 39% during the same time. The sales drop in two-wheelers was a big wake up alarm for the automobile industry in India because two-wheelers have a major monopoly in sales in the rural economy of India.
The rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic has forced the car manufacturers to stop their vehicle productions. The supply chain has been severely disrupted. Maruti Suzuki India, the company that enjoys the oligopoly in the middle-class family vehicles sold only 51,274 passenger vehicles in June this year. This is 50% lower sales than what Maruti Suzuki recorded in June 2019.
Hyundai Motors India saw a dip of 49% of car sales this year. Toyota saw a 41% drop in sales this year. According to Flitch Solutions, vehicle production in India is likely to contract by 8.3% in 2020.
Emerging Trends In Automobile Sector Post COVID
The pandemic has revised the customer preference. Most automobile manufacturing has been shut down in the country. This means that automobile companies across the country need to ramp up their productions when the situation becomes better.
It is believed that in the post COVID world, consumers will move away from shared vehicles towards a personal vehicle in order to safeguard themselves. But a report from HSBC says that the sales of personal cars are not expected to see a hike of more than 2% despite social distancing being a consumer preference.
The new work from home trend will reduce the demand for cars for the working professionals. Also, people will not be able to afford a car immediately post the COVID due to a lack of income coming in from the job.
The new trend that the automobile sector has identified is the need to stabilize the cost of mid to higher segment vehicles since the rich find their incomes to be least affected despite the ongoing situation.
Also, the automobile industry needs a strong government policy push especially in the electric vehicle sector in order to fulfill the emission standards and the environment protection control standards set by the government.
Automobile companies have started to go digital with their car selling. The increasing preference for contact-less online transactions has emerged as a major trend in online automobile purchases. This includes online booking of appointments, doorstep pickup, and delivery, financing, contact-less transactions, and other such online digital experiences for the customers.
Digitalization In Automobile Industry
Automobile companies have started using digital analytics for driving better business outcomes. Most of the automobile companies have recognized the new digital technology trend and are in the process of defining and detailing digital and analytics leaders in the Indian automobile industry.
Also, the pandemic has forced the digital trend in the making. As a result, in the next 12-24 months, the Indian automobile industry will witness the emergence of clear digital and analytics leaders in the Indian automotive industry.
It will create value in the production of a new car, associated marketing cost, supply chain cost, and finally, the customer outreach cost.
Tech Tools To Transform Your Automobile Selling
Today, the tech-savvy millennials make a significant population of car buyers in the country. The automobile companies are using digital tech tools to provide them with a better experience they are used to and the tools and avenues they usually prefer.
Some of these top tech trends include the following-
- Live Online Chat:
You can generate leads and close sales by having an online chat tool on your automobile company’s website.
Having an advanced chat application can show you the exact page the visitor is on and the specific areas they click and browse on your website. As a result, you will be able to understand their needs and initiate an online conversation and close sales.
Make sure you provide timely and relevant customer experience to your website visitors as it will likely boost your overall sales. For instance, if your prospect is comparing two or more cars on your website, you can enter the process by initiating a conversation and help them choose the best amongst the compared cars.
- Website And Content Strategy:
In today’s digital era, the maximum number of the car buyers goes online to research about cars they wish to purchase before actually visiting a showroom or a dealership. Therefore, you need to be proactive and reach these people online.
Make sure you have a website for your dealership and do not fill it completely with photos of cars. To make it look more appealing, you need to use high-quality text and video content as well.
Furthermore, ensure you make your website extremely professional and provide content that induces your website visitor to stick around longer to know more about cars that you are offering.
- Marketing Automation Software:
If you want to reach out to your prospects on multiple channels, then you can use marketing automation software and automated repetitive tasks. It will help you gather information about your prospect.
This information includes prospects demographics, buying habits, purchasing capacity, interests, and so on. As a result, you can nurture them and convince them into buying your car offered.
Also, you can use the marketing automation software to gather emails of the prospects who might be interested in buying the car accessories offered by your automobile company.
- Social Media Platforms:
Make sure you use various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and so on to generate the interest of the people in your automobile company.
Upload pictures and videos of the new arrival of a car model in your showroom put on a car specification video in the form of a walkthrough, record customer experience and reaction upon test driving your car, and so on.
Social Media channels are excellent for providing validation as well as offering customer support. Also, most of the prospective buyers prefer asking questions to automobile companies on their social media pages before considering to get on a call or visit the showroom.
This generation is highly active on social media. Most of their purchase is dependent on what they see on social sites and forums. Therefore, it is important to have a social media presence as well.
Having just the website is not enough. You need to reach out to the people on various social media platforms to tell them about your automobile company. Only then will know your existence and visit your website and showroom to purchase a car.
NeoDove is a perfect tool for your automobile sales business. Using NeoDove, you can actually get all your leads in one place and will be able to actively engage with your customers interested in buying your car. Furthermore, you will be able to monitor and manage all aspects of the ongoing communication to provide extraordinary customer experience.
To conclude, we can say that as the COVID situation relaxes, the automobile industry will soon set a course for recovery. However, this will be the testing time for this industry and the recovery will depend on how well manufacturers and retailers are able to respond to the challenges and stick to the trends being followed in the post COVID world.