COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to stay away from everyone. And the people who need to commute are finding a personal car as the safest option. According to a report by Capgemini corroborates, around 35 percent of customers are planning to buy a new car. The primary reason to buy a car for these customers is that it gives them a better chance to stay safe from coronavirus.
Businesses are gradually opening up and so are the car dealerships. However, the government of India has issued strict guidelines to businesses that are opening to sanitise their workspace properly and follow social distancing. This has completely transformed the car buying experience for customers.
Gone are the days when you would just visit the nearest car dealership and hop in your favourite car for the test drive with the sales agent. Things have now changed drastically. You will have to do an online booking of your test drive first.
Car dealerships are taking strict measures to make sure that every time a customer steps inside a completely sanitised car. From door handles, IRVM and steering wheels to the gear lever, electronic buttons, infotainment system, and seats; car dealerships are sanitising everything to ensure the safety of customers.
Tata is changing the protective covers of interiors after each test drive. Before stepping inside the car, the customer has to go through thermal screening as well. Only one customer is allowed to sit in the car and the sales executive can only sit in the rear seat of the car.
Brands like Renault has also appointed safety inspectors to ensure all the COVID-19 preventive steps are followed properly.
To ensure minimal human touch, carmakers are offering contactless sales of their vehicles. Carmakers have tied up with dealerships all over India to facilitate online sales and delivery of their entire portfolio.
To ensure minimal human touch, from booking and variant selection to financing, you can do everything online and the car will be delivered at your doorstep. Carmakers like Hyundai have signed an MoU with ICICI bank to facilitate 100 percent financing to its eligible customers at a click of a button.
To give some respite from financial pressure, carmakers are offering several incentives to car buyers. To ensure affordability and buyer confidence, carmakers are offering incentives into higher-level trim packages or models that are overstocked over the period of lockdown.
Customers can also get assistance on deferred or forgiven payments. Several carmakers including Mahindra and Volkswagen as also offering financing at as low as 0%. The deal can’t get sweeter than this.
Car dealerships are also following all the required due-diligence at their workshops to facilitate safer service of vehicles. Carmakers are offering free pick up and drop of cars from customers’ homes to ensure contactless service of cars. Carmakers have also offered a moratorium on the expiring free services during the lockdown to boost customer confidence.
COVID-19 has completely transformed the car buying experience for customers. We are not sure when things will get better. But for the time being, everyone is accepting this as the new normal.