Epidemic- Auto World Slump & Online Redemption

COVID-19 and the lockdown has triggered a slump in the automotive industry. While its effect
on many businesses and industries is yet to be seen clearly, the automotive world has already
seen a plunge in sales in the last month of FY19-20. As per the latest data by SIAM (Society of
Indian Automobile Manufacturers), the auto industry sales declined by 44.95% in March 2020.
The passenger vehicle sales declined by 51% while the commercial vehicle sales plummeted by
a shocking 81%.

MSIL reported a 48% decline in sales while Toyota and Hyundai reported 45% and 41% decline
in sales respectively, with all of them outperforming the others in the industry. The reason for
the decline was not only the pandemic but also the economic slowdown clubbed with the
transitional challenges to the BS-VI. The new norms were set to come into effect from 1st April

With demand taking a hit, OEM manufacturers expect it to recover during the festive season
which is near the start of Q4 of CY20. 2W (2 wheelers) are expected to pick-up the from the
slump and recover ahead of the PV (personal vehicles) and CVs (commercial vehicles).
With the country on a lockdown amidst the pandemic, manufacturers are turning to digital
platforms to boost sales. It is expected that by 2025, a quarter of all automobile sales will
happen online since the new-age customers rely heavily upon information available online via
videos and blogs. The pandemic is expected to make the shift even quicker now.

With customers expected to slowly and gradually turn up at physical showrooms once the
lockdown is lifted, some companies have taken the showroom to their customers. Companies
like Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, and MG Motor are turning to online platforms to boost their sales.
Though still in its pilot phase, Hyundai has already launched its pan-India sales platform, Click
to Buy. It integrates more than 500 dealerships and newest launches like the second-generation
Creta and the 2020 Verna facelift.

Hyundai’s online platform, Click to Buy is as easy as buying clothes online. An interested buyer
can register on the platform post which they can configure the vehicle as per their choice. The
customers will also get the option of a personalized assistant available at every stage of the
purchase process along with finance options. The vehicle can then be picked up from the
preferred dealer or can be delivered at the doorstep post the lockdown.

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