Much like the rest of the industries, the Automobile sector along with its Aftermarket segment has been hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. After initially struggling, these industries have started to steady down and found a footing through the leaning on digital services. While “going contactless” and adopting various social distancing practices has become the new norm for many industries, digital technology has played a pivotal part in enabling it all. In the pursuit of providing safe, contactless services to consumers in their effort to remain relevant in current times, companies have found the many advantages that digital technology bought with it.
Impact of COVID19 on the automobile industry
The Coronavirus hit the already suffering automobile industry hard in the initial days. With lockdowns imposed in multiple countries, the auto sales started their downward spirals. But as they say, it is darkest before dawn. Rising concerns over COVID19 and the new social distancing norms have shifted consumer preferences. China being the 1st to get hit by the virus, it was also one of the earliest to start recovering. A survey by Ipsos conducted in China indicates a light at the end of the tunnel.
Earlier, 56% of consumers preferred public transport such as bus and trains compared to 34% who preferred private cars with car sharing and car hailing also gaining steady pace. Post COVID-19 however, the consumer preferences have shifted due safety concerns with 66% now preferring private cars and on 24% opting for public transports. Safety concerns have also enhanced the purchase intentions of the consumers, especially in Tier 1 cities and severely affected areas with 77% believing that driving a car can reduce risk of infection and 50% believing public transport is no longer safe.
While consumers will prefer personal vehicles more in the coming days, manufacturers and service providers shouldn’t forget the main reason why this has come to be. 44% of Indian Consumers are now willing to purchase vehicles online. These consumers will need to be given digital solutions for not just vehicle purchasing, but also aftersales services that emphasis on contactless and safe practices.
Digitally-enabled Pick up and Drop Off/Chauffeur Services/ Payment Services
Through services such as vehicle pick up and drop off, digital payment, door-to-door test-drive, and the likes, service providers and OEMs can ensure continued services to consumers in the post-COVID days. These services can help ensure contactless and low-interaction options, while also providing options that don’t require them to leave the safety of their homes to purchase or service their vehicles.
On the flip side, service providers can reap the benefits of lower operating costs, more workshop space utility and most importantly, customer data to help them get insights on consumer needs and make better overall business decisions.
If your move towards digital solutions was slow or had not started yet, now is the right time. With 21North Europ Assistance, you can easily enable digital solutions for your vehicle sales and aftermarket services. You can learn more here: