Honda Cars India has joined the latest trend of the digitalisation of vehicle sales that is fast emerging in the Indian auto industry. The Japanese brand has introduced its ‘Honda from Home’ online vehicle booking platform. The digital portal is meant to enable customers to “manage their car purchase from the comfort of their homes without having to visit the dealership.” Honda says that the online platform will soon be integrated with its nationwide network consisting of 375 touchpoints across 263 cities.
Prospective customers can initiate the process of purchasing Honda cars online by accessing Honda Car India’s official website and selecting the ‘Book Now’ option. This will redirect them to a portal where, after providing their contact details, the customers can browse through a selection of vehicles and choose the appropriate model, fuel type, transmission option and colour. Customers will then be required to select the city and dealership where they intend to make the purchase, following which payment for the online booking can be made. Thereafter, they’ll be contacted by the relevant dealership for guidance through the sales process, documentation and finance or payment options. Once all formalities are completed, the automaker says that purchased vehicles can even be home-delivered to customers, thus offering a holistic contactless experience.
Honda’s portfolio in India currently includes the Amaze, City, Civic and CR-V. The WR-V cross-hatch is set to get a facelift soon that’ll bring about cosmetic changes, feature updates and BS6-compliant engines. The Jazz is also touted to get a BS6 update in the coming days. While we’re still awaiting their price announcement, both the models are already up for pre-orders. The next big launch for the automaker is that of the fifth-gen City which was originally slated for this month but has now been rescheduled to a later date due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
It is expected that there will be a sharp decline in the number of customer walk-ins at dealerships, even after the lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis is lifted. This has prompted many automakers to take the car buying process digital. In the past few days, Hyundai, Tata and Mercedes have already launched their digital sales platforms, while BMW and Volkswagen have also recently entered the domain. It will be interesting to see if such online initiatives can provide a fillip to sales and keep the numbers ticking in these times of restricted movement.