Owning a car – Transformation from Luxury to Necessity : Raghavendra,CEO, BookMyTime

Owning a car – Transformation from Luxury to Necessity : Raghavendra,CEO, BookMyTime


Car Management/ Servicing
A car is an important asset that caters to various needs of people, whether it is for transportation or commuting purposes, or a status symbol or easy access, in the case of an emergency. Many people purchase cars just for the sake of enjoying the freedom and independence of owning a car.

With the advent of many players in the car selling segment, owning a car as per one’s needs is no more a herculean task. However, managing a car, maintaining it and tackling the problems that arise out of owning one, requires lot of reading. Not every person owning a car has the knowledge and skills to maintain it. With the dearth of authentic, genuine car service stations and with the car dealers ruling the car service domain, car care has become even more challenging, resulting in loss incurred by all the stakeholders – car owners as well as the genuine, yet unrecognized car service workshops.

The Puncture shop dilemma
One of the most terrifying and precarious situations for anyone who drives a car is deflated tyres. Wobbling tyres are the worst nightmares for most of us, especially for the fact that the puncture shops in India are an unorganized segment. Whenever we face the situation of a breakdown, due to deflated tyres or punctures, the first thought that comes to our mind is finding the nearest puncture shop. Along with that, comes the fear of being cheated by the puncture shop owner on the pricing part, depending upon the make of the vehicle.

Car owners’ lack of proper knowledge about tyres, unstructured tyre care industry and increasing demand for proper care, has led to the requirement of streamlining the industry, keeping in mind quality customer service.

Buying a Car
Buying a car could be the most confusing situation one faces unless guided by a proper, well read, genuine source. The presence of many car brands, selling cars of various price ranges to fit into the customer’s budget, has only made the experience more challenging.

With too much of information download and a lot of factors influencing the decision making of a consumer, it is tough for a customer to hasten the process of buying. Unlike the developed markets where a car is bought to cater to an individual’s requirement, the Indian first-time car buyer primarily looks at the purchase of a car for his family. Given that the first-time buyer has no comparable reference, it is natural that this buying decision is not influenced by the ‘improvement of fuel efficiency’ factor.

Unlike the first-time buyer, a repeat buyer understandably aspires to upgrade, going by the reasons cited below by the respondents.

Did you know:

  • 48% of consumers say they search for information online before visiting or consulting any offline medium?
  • 87% of the consumers reconsider one purchase decision factor (brand, model, fuel type, budget, color, etc.) at the time they buy?
  • The sales staff at showrooms can heavily influence (73%) last minute changes in decisions and guide car buyers’ choices?

Also Read: Tips for Successfully Launching a New Product

In their case, a more sophisticated product is the initial requirement. While technology stood out as a judgment factor and gave precedence to larger space requirement. This trend held true irrespective of the respondent’s gender. Interestingly, male alone have rated ‘can afford to buy’ as a reason ahead of the utility for family members, thereby, suggesting their desire to use the car as a statement of success.

The fact that value/price and features are initial filters reiterate the conclusion that the consumer makes sensible choices right from the beginning of deciding to buy to making the actual purchase.

Unlike the examination stage where consumers spend 10 hours, more than 50% of them desire to spend less than 45 minutes for dealership visit and test drive. It shows that bulk of the information gathering is done outside the dealerships. At the end of the dealer visits, there seems to be a reasonable amount of goodwill that dealers generate. While the notion that the dealers are not a credible source of information is valid, it must be acknowledged that the communications at the dealerships seem to be observed positively by the buyers. This may be an opportunity for dealers to build a way by which such a potential buyer becomes an active endorser of the product, if not the owner.
56% of Indian consumers planning to buy a new car will go for a higher fuel efficient vehicle rather than one that offers enhanced engine power. 6 out of 10 car buyers in India want a fuel-efficient vehicle and looking to save money.

30% are looking to buy hybrids or electric vehicles while another 14% simply plan to downsize to a smaller vehicle.

Only 37% of the car buyers would invest more money for a more economical vehicle, and 57% of car buyers do not consider the total cost of ownership at the time of the deal. And yet nearly a third (28%) of Indian consumers will wait for lower fuel prices to top up their car.

Despite all the paraphernalia around buying a car, are customers satisfied with their preference of cars? Are people delighted after having bought a car of their preference? Most of the times, no. Hence, there is a requirement for a standardized, hassle free process in place, wherein the buying experience becomes easy, smooth, and less time consuming, and the customer walks out of the showroom completely satisfied with his choice of the new car bought. There has to be a channel that suggests the buyers a recommended route to purchase the car with their preference of the model, type, color, price, engine, fuel variant, etc.

Read More: Top Advantages of Buying Refurbished Laptops

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