Why coronavirus could derail the luxury vehicle market

The pan India lockdown and the current global situation, it's only a few sectors in the e-commerce segment which have witnessed an upsurge in their sales.

File photo
File photo

IANSlife spoke to Jatin Ahuja, Founder and Managing Director, Big Boy Toyz, to find out if one can get a heads up on the extent of the impact on sales in the luxury vehicle segment.

"Currently the entire luxury industry as a whole is witnessing a standstill due to the state and nationwide lockdown. The luxury auto market will witness a major shift in the consumer attitude wherein they will be more open to the concept of purchasing luxury vehicles online. Even the players in the auto industry will understand the importance of digitalisation in the future," says Ahuja.

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With the pulse on the market and understanding that high end customers are always looking for customisation and personalisation, Ajuja states, "The Influx of social media marketing has led to a digital revolution where almost every industry fighting to gain attention from its targeted audience. From apparel to electronics, from telecom to travel, and from food and beverages to entertainment, every industry is finding ways to tap the niche market which is not only huge but also effectively priced. So, it's obvious for the automobile industry has to enter the world of social media to be able to connect with the digitally awakened generation."

So how does he think that this reality or virtual reality as it were will evolve in the near future? "This has led the companies to understanding the importance of virtual consumer experiential marketing. Thus, with virtual consumer experiential marketing becoming an important aspect for companies, e-commerce linked with Social Media cites like Instagram will also help in tapping into consumers who are way more active in social networking handles."

Before the advent of social media, vehicle dealers depended on costly and ostentatious TV advertisements, print adverts to gain popularity for their brands. However, now with digitalisation, social media is a basic and cost effective advertising tool in the hands of the automobile industry. "What's more, it additionally deciphers that better the vehicle brand does its social media advertising, the higher its odds are of beating the competition. Any car dealer or manufacturer who isn't using this platform into their business is doing noteworthy harm to their business' targets," feels the veteran.

With a prolonged lockdown, businesses and industries are set to be highly impacted, the world economy too is is predicted to take a beating. Keeping these variables in mind, big spends on luxury vehicles might not be in keeping with the mood of the customer.

"While talking about the auto industry it is important to understand that vehicles are high-contribution and high-speculation items, so one must give various touch points to their customers. This realisation itself will drive a lot of companies to finally take the leap of faith and venture into the e-commerce industry in the months to come post Covid-19. Many of the companies who think that physical stores / showrooms are the only future for business sustenance will not last much longer. However, with the relentless support of the e-commerce sector, both companies/businesses and consumers have understood that e-commerce sector will flourish manifold along with physical stores and showrooms. With advanced showcasing strategies readily available, car dealers and manufacturers will have better chances to win their prospects' attention," asserts Ahuja.

The car expert feels that, "many of the major companies (who still believed in the traditional way of functioning) are thinking it would have been best to have resorted to digitalisation. However, the few companies who have foreseen such situations, and had decided to venture into the e-commerce space in order to tap into the untapped consumer base, are benefitting currently."

First Published Date: 30 Mar 2020, 08:43 AM IST
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