Tata Motors mulls selling cars entirely online - BusinessLine

Summary

Tata Motors is laying the ground work to explore selling cars entirely online, a move in line with the broader market trend of retailing the goods digitally. This would be the biggest transformation for the company on sales and distribution of its cars.

Click to Drive initiative

Tata Motors is laying the ground work to explore selling cars entirely online, a move in line with the broader market trend of retailing the goods digitally. This would be the biggest transformation for the company on sales and distribution of its cars.

Click to Drive initiative

The company had received a favourable response for its ‘Click to Drive’ initiative launched during the peak of the Covid-19-induced lockdown in 2020. While this has helped buyers explore and reserve their preference, the aim was to reduce the in-person interactions.

There will be no physical visit to the showrooms and buyers can carry out the entire transaction online. From making the payment for the vehicle, opting for a loan, buying the insurance and accessories; all transactions will be done online. Buyers can, however, opt for taking delivery at their preferred location or pick it up personally from the showroom.

Tata Neu app

While Tata Group has promised to sell Tata cars through its super app Tata Neu, Tata Motors will also have a platform of its own, said a senior executive of the company.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Shailesh Chandra, Managing Director, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility said, “You can deliver a lot of showroom-like experience digitally. Things will come closer and converge, but it will happen over a period of time. There will be a growing penetration of online purchase.”

While direct to customer sale of vehicles is not a new concept in India as brands, including Mercedes-Benz, Citroen, Ola Electric, Ather Energy, have switched to the digital medium for sales, it was expected that others will take some time before making the plunge into this medium.

“There will be some part of the market which will remain hybrid – few customers who are more comfortable with experiencing the technology first hand. As they gain confidence, they will prefer an online buying experience and it is then that the trend will evolve in the automotive industry,” Chandra added.

Timeline

While Chandra did not provide a timeline for the launch of online sales, he did mention that it will become important to get its dealer partners onboard before officially launching the project.

“There will be certain models which buyers need not see physically or test drive, because in any case they are seeing many of them through their friends and relatives. They are those cars which have existed for some time in the market. I would definitely say (online sales) will happen, not very far away. Both Tata Neu and Tata Motors can sell cars together online,” Chandra added.

Besides key brands like Starbucks, Tata 1mg, Tata Cliq, AirAsia India, Westside and Indian Hotels, Tata Neu will feature cars from Tata Motors as well. While Tata Motors was to get integrated into Tata Neu before June end, Chandra said that it will happen soon.

“We have to do some work on the integration about how we would sell cars on Tata Neu app. There is a lot of work which is going on to make it happen as we are also working on a digital transformation journey, and a part of that is to integrate ourselves with Tata Neu,” Chandra added.

Tata Motors mulls selling cars entirely online - BusinessLine
Photo Credit: BusinessLine

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