MUMBAI -- India's largest utility vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra is upgrading its digital platform to connect customers' pre- and post-sales experience online or through a mobile app, in a bid to lure more car buyers.
As part of its pre-sales digital strategy, the carmaker has introduced "Bring the Showroom Home," a virtual reality experience that gives potential buyers an experience of not just the car's features, but also of driving in the city or off-road environments. Buyers can also check dealers' stock of models, and customize vehicles online with family members through the company's "SyouV" platform.
"We reimagined the whole customers' purchase experience by embarking on a digital transformation journey for an end-to-end solution from the pre-purchase stage to the post-purchase ownership phase," said Veejay Nakra, the company's chief of sales and marketing, automotive division. "Now we are ready to take this disruption to the next level by changing the way automotive retail is perceived in India."
Mahindra is encouraged by the online sales leads it has been receiving. About 13% of total inquiries come from online, while the platform contributes 8% to retail sales. The company hopes to double the contribution from online sales in the financial year starting April 2018.
It already sells vehicles online with platforms such as the in-house M2All as well as cardekho.com, carwale.com and IndiaBlueBook.com.
In the next phase of SyouV, the company plans to include on-road prices and online order tracking. Mahindra has also installed tablets and online kiosks across most of its dealer network. Meant to assist customers in making suitable buying decisions, the gadgets offer realistic visual depictions of Mahindra vehicles, with various options related to accessories and colors.
Over the past few quarters, Mahindra has been facing slower sales and has struggled to stop market share slipping to rival Maruti Suzuki India. Other competitors have introduced newer SUV models. In the year ended March, sales of SUVs grew 30% in India, against a 3.9% increase in overall car sales.
Shares of Mahindra rose 0.07% in Mumbai trading on Wednesday to 764.00 rupees.