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Tata Motors showrooms to get a facelift in bid to woo younger customers

LiveMint logoLiveMint 16-07-2017 Shally Seth Mohile

Mumbai: Tata Motors Ltd showrooms will sport a fresh look and turn more technology-enabled in the next two months as the company tries to attract younger customers interested in its new models, two people aware of the plans said.

This is the second facelift for Tata Motors showrooms in the last three years. Ahead of the launch of its Zest sedan and Bolt hatchback in 2014, the company had revamped its showrooms.

“Tata Motors wants its dealerships to reflect and reinforce the changing perception of its car brands, and pave way for newer launches in the months ahead,” the first of the two persons cited above said on the condition of anonymity.

Though Zest and Bolt could not do much to change the “taxi brand” perception of Tata cars, newer models like the Tiago hatchback, Tigor compact sedan and Hexa SUV with contemporary styling and better quality and performance have helped. In the June quarter, sales of Tata Motors passenger vehicles, though on a small base, rose to 3,859 units from 2,917 a year ago, according to auto industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

Vivek B. Srivats, head of marketing, passenger vehicle business, Tata Motors, confirmed the plan. In an emailed response, Srivats said the company is seeing younger customers buying its brands, adding it wants to provide a seamless purchase experience for new-age customers through technology.

“With our new generation of cars like Tiago, Tigor and Hexa, we are seeing new and younger customer profiles buying our brands. We want to provide a seamless purchase experience for today’s tech-savvy digital customers. So, we are looking at various options at the moment on how innovatively and effectively we integrate the technology at our sales touch points,” Srivats said.

As part of the plan, it is looking to reduce collateral (printed or electronic information used to help encourage people to buy a product) and keep the dealership spaces clean. “There are many ways to do these. We do not have anything specific to confirm at the moment but we are working towards providing a highly engaging and personalized experience to our young customers,” Srivats said. 

The initiative will be rolled out in two months ahead of the launch of Nexon, a compact SUV model expected to go on sale by year-end.

According to the second person, while the last overhaul focused on altering layouts and improving the overall look, this time around, it will be more about the finer aspects such as changing colour schemes and using technology to make the showrooms more contemporary. “The idea is to keep up with the trend and exude that warmth,” this person said.

Led by chief executive officer and managing director Guenter Butschek, Tata Motors is in the midst of revamping its decade-old model line-up and executing a strategy to reduce vehicle platforms from the current six to two. Besides Nexon, it plans to bring two completely new SUVs code-named Q501 and Q502 some time in fiscal 2018-19. 

“With social and digital media playing a prominent role in car buying process, it’s only logical that companies revisit the traditional sales format,” said Abdul Majeed, auto practice leader at consulting firm PwC.

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