NEW DELHI: Facing rising competition from tech savvy entrants like Kia Motors, which has seen brisk sales of its passenger cars, domestic automobile majors such as Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Hyundai India are also tweaking their advertising strategies to focus on technology and innovations.
The aim is to attract millennials who are more keen on tech-enabled features such as automatic transmission, remote controlling of the car, voice commands, app-related convenience, location-based services, among others.
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“New entrants have redefined the concept of ‘value’ in auto industry which translates now to connectedness and technology innovation. It is different from the classic definition of value such as more space and fuel efficiency,” said Jitender Dabas, COO, McCann Worldgroup India. “In fact, connectedness and technology has become a hygiene feature especially after pandemic which has made technology a far more integral part of our life and hence mobility will also have to live up to that. Furthermore, the likes of Kia Motors, MG Motors and Tesla’s focus on the India market is further pushing the existing players to offer more advanced tech benefits.”
Hyundai India said it has changed its product and communication strategy to become a smart mobility solutions provider. The company has introduced AI powered platform called Blue Link that enables flow of critical information between a customer and his/her car. It is offering a host of tech features, including voice-enabled panoramic sunroof, auto crash notification, stolen vehicle tracking across Venue, Creta and i20 car models.
“Technology has been playing a key role in bringing customer convenience but pandemic has accelerated this change bringing younger customers in the car buying fold. Many of them are moving away from shared mobility due to safety and hygiene challenges,” said Tarun Garg, director, marketing and sales at Hyundai India.
In its latest campaign titled People Technology, Maruti Suzuki India features young consumers using various car models that come equipped with a variety of tech features such as K-series engines (reduction in noise and vibration), live vehicle tracking and emergency reporting of accidents online among others.
“The percentage of first-time car buyers currently stands at 45% while the replacement and additional car buying has gone up which shows people are upgrading vehicles with more advanced technology features. Additionally, women buyers have also increased from 6% to 16% and hence safety related tech features such as live vehicle tracking becomes important which is highlighted in our campaign,” said Shashank Srivastava, executive director – marketing & sales, Maruti Suzuki.
Tata Motors, which introduced Connected Technology Platform – iRA in January 2020, has been running campaigns for models like Harrier to highlight the performance of the automatic transmission along with its automatic sunroof. The company is sharing video brochures of its electric vehicle specific tech-based features on WhatsApp or via other one-to-one communication apps with customers.
“…leveraging extensive social media platforms, we also pushed the creatives and info-graphics that helped us demonstrate features such as voice commands, app-related benefits like ‘locate your vehicle’, ‘find the nearest charging stations’, etc. We have also explored the option of using 3-D visualization that helps consumers visualize and interact with the vehicle in a virtual environment,” said a Tata Motors Limited spokesperson.