NEW DELHI: The country’s second-largest carmaker Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) expects the share of its digital sales channel in total domestic sales to increase from single low digits presently to over 20 per cent in the future. The carmaker had launched its online platform ‘Click to Buy’ in March. While the first month’s response was lukewarm, the exponential spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has resulted in a huge spike in website traffic.
“In the month of March we only had 3,000 visitors but in April we witnessed a huge hike of 4 lakh visitors. So far we have seen 10 lakh visits on the platform and 18,000 registrations. Out of 10 customers who register themselves, one is a sure buyer,” Brijesh Gubbi Suresh– AVP & Group Head - New Business Strategy at Hyundai said.
He adds, “Physical outlets at present account for 95 per cent of total domestic sales and will continue to dominate in future, but their share is expected to come down to 70-80 per cent.” Suresh believes that there are customers who would want to buy cars online post the Covid-19 era and that HMIL has to be ready. “90 per cent of buyers do online research before buying a car. Now they have started to believe in e-commerce to make purchases,” he noted.
It isn’t just Hyundai who is going digital route. Almost all carmakers, including Maruti Suzuki, Toyota Kirloskar, Volkswagen and Mahindra & Mahindra, have ramped up their daily digital sales channels to make car-buying a human-free and seamless experience. Most carmakers have also tied up with financial institutions to offer financial options.
However, Hyundai feels that the growing participation of digital channels is unlikely to impact the business of dealer partners. “This was a big concern for the dealers when we first launched it. Dealers are the most important part of our ecosystem and we have explained to them that this channel is meant to connect them with the buyers... In India we cannot impact the structure we have built,” Suresh said.
As for the overall market, Hyundai believes that the market would see some revival in the festive season and is likely to normalise early next year.