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“90% Indians research cars online before buying and 40% are willing to purchase cars online”

Brijesh Gubbi Suresh, Assistant Vice President and Group Head, New Business Strategy, Hyundai Motor India Ltd

Brijesh Gubbi SureshAssistant Vice President and Group Head, New Business Strategy, Hyundai Motor India Ltd  spoke to Smartdrive Editor J Binduraj in detail about “Click to Buy”- the  new online sales platform started by Hyundai Motor India. He said Hyundai will provide a complete end-to-end service right from information to enable quick and flexible financing options on the platform and  have partnered with HDFC and ICICI banks for it.

Question:  Are the customers getting adapted to “Click to Buy” – the online mode of sales started by Hyundai?  What is the percentage of sales happened through online platform in May 2020?

Answer: Hyundai has become a pioneer in introducing India’s First Comprehensive end-to-end car buying platform for automobile sales ‘Click to Buy’.  With Click to Buy we will cater to the needs of millennial customers for the purchase of new Hyundai cars. All Hyundai models including All New CRETA are available on Click to Buy website and this would act as an additional sales channel for over 600 Hyundai Dealerships.

We have received over 10 lakh visitors on the platform, with 18,000 registrations in May. These numbers indicate a strong trend towards acceptance of online sales platforms.

Q:  Hyundai was first in India to design an online platform for sales of cars even before the Covid 19 crisis. How was the response of customers to Click to Buy platform before the crisis? Were you getting online booking then? 

A: We have received very encouraging response since the launch of Click-to-Buy in January 2020. After its pan India integration in March, we have been observing that numbers have grown exponentially about 5-10% month-on-month, as people are coming on to the platform and exploring various offerings. All customer queries can be addressed via Dealerships in real time and for customers who finalise purchase, delivery takes place in due course of time. There has been a significant increase in the visitors & registrations since the Pan India integration in March and Visitors have significantly increased to 10 lakh with 18 000 people registering themselves on the platform. Before March, these numbers were much lower.

Q: Is the online sales and service platform by Hyundai will be limited just to the Covid 19 crisis or  will it continue to serve people even after the pandemic threat vanishes?

A: There has been a noticeable shift in the recent past, where digital models of retail and sales are garnering traction amongst buyers. Customers are now factoring in convenience to their purchase journey, even for products such as Automobiles. It has been found that 90 % Indians research cars online before buying and 40 % are willing to purchase cars online. We began this initiative much before the COVID-19 pandemic and have a vision for the future of Online Automotive Retail. Click to Buy was launched in January this year and has been offering customers convenience with End-to-End online car buying. Going forward, Hyundai will work strongly in this area as well.  

Hyundai’s Click to Buy online platform

Q: The dealerships of all automobile giants were setup spending huge amount as investment. Each dealerships offer several jobs to many people. What will be the future of dealerships if online sales gather momentum and out do the dealerships? Will it continue to serve people as in the past or will there a chance of reduction of employee strength in the future?

A: Click to buy is a platform to sell our dealers stock and hence we have integrated over 600 dealership outlets. Dealer partners play an important role in the future of automotive retail and going forward as well, even with Click to Buy all Dealer Partners have an important role to play. All customer financial transactions for purchase of New Cars are directly with Dealerships and are only facilitated by Hyundai through the Click to Buy platform. We have worked closely with our Dealer Partners to incorporate their feedback into this entire system and assist them in facilitating sales through the online channel.

We have educated our dealer partners, conducted trainings for their staff and in all dealerships across the country, we have appointed a dedicated sales consultant who will guide the customer.

Q: How is Hyundai’s online sales platform differ from the rest of online platforms introduced by other motor giants? What is the USP of your platform?

A: We have started following digitization trend from an early stage. We had the first mover advantage of launching “Click to Buy” in March this year. Hyundai Click to Buy is the most robust digital platform for car sales offering customers a complete end-to-end car buying journey. Majority of the OEM’s only offer online booking service from where you can avail information and book a car. We provide a complete end-to-end service right from information to enable quick and flexible financing options on the Click to Buy platform itself. We have partnered with HDFC and ICICI banks and are in talks with other financing partners. A dedicated sales consultant is assigned for every customer who apprise them with customer benefit schemes and offers. Further we have enabled customers to conduct negotiations with sales consultants who in turn can also offer them unique sales codes and facilitate discounts & allow customers to choose accessories as well as avail extended warranty equipment all on Hyundai’s Click to Buy platform. Most importantly, we have done a lot of contracting and integration to ensure customer data is safe and secure.

Q: New Hyundai Creta has become the most searched vehicle in Click to Buy. Out of 30,000 bookings for the vehicle in May 2020, how many bookings were realized through Click to Buy in the case of Creta?

A: All New CRETA has introduced many Industry firsts and became an instant hit among customers since the launch. We have re-established our supremacy in the SUV segment with All New CRETA clocking over 30,000 bookings since the launch. It also topped sales charts in May. We are happy to share that diesel models constitute 55 % of bookings, indicating strong customer sentiment for Hyundai’s advanced BS6 Diesel technology.

We are witnessing month-on-month increase in the number of bookings through the Click to Buy platform. We have also noted that 60 – 70 % of Bookings are for the SUV segment with the highest amount of bookings offered for the All New CRETA.

Q: Are dealerships comfortable with online mode of sales and service? In what way the new platform helps them to increase their sales?

A: Click to Buy offers a convenient and safe zone for the customers to buy a car at the Click of a Button during these unprecedented times of COVID-19 pandemic. All our dealers are extremely satisfied with the entire process, also since all our dealerships are integrated with this platform, it is the most conducive way for the dealers to get bookings and convert this into sales.  

Q: Do you think the online mode of sales of automobiles is the future? In what way online platforms can increase the customer relations by giving them end to end attention?

A: Hyundai’s Click to Buy platform is connected in real time across India to fulfil the needs of the millennial generation and unlike other such platforms that only offer customer bookings, Hyundai ‘Click to Buy’ is the most comprehensive online car buying platform in India facilitating end-to-end car buying. While car buying in India continues to be a highly emotional & significant milestone for buyers, the online route enables customers with a much more convenient buying option. We anticipate this trend to grow in the times to come. 

Q: Is it possible for a customer of a specific location to choose a dealership other than the one in his proximity?

A: As answered above, a customer has the prerogative to choose any dealer outlet even other than the one that is closer to his location, from a list of Dealerships based on his Zip Code.

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