Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 30th July 2013, 13:31   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bangalore/Pune
Posts: 1,192
Thanked: 1,556 Times
Default Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

Link to News Section

Tata Motors is finding it difficult to push the Nano hatchback out of showrooms across the country. So, a change in tactic is being mulled at Pimpri, with online sales of the Nano a possible new strategy for the world's least priced car. Since most things around the Nano have been unconventional right from the outset, online selling of the Nano might not come as a surprise to both buyers as well as fans of this affordable hatchback.

Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works-2013-tata-nano-1.jpg

According a report on the BusinessStandard, Tata Motors has already test marketed the Nano online and going forward, the car maker is looking to broaden this initiative. The report goes on to add that car buyers might be able to book the car and pay the initial booking amount online, and get the Nano delivered to their doorsteps or to their nearest Tata dealerships. However, the final payment for the Nano might still have to be made at the dealership.

Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works-2013-tata-nano-2.jpg

Although the internet has broken boundaries and democratized information exchange like never before, car sales largely remain confined to physical dealerships even in most developed nations. While Tesla Motors, a perennial outlier, is trying to change the rules of the game by pushing for online sales of cars in the United States, selling cars online is illegal in many states of the USA. Various reports on the Economist: here, here and here, make for interesting reading.

Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works-2013-tata-nano-3.jpg

Coming back to the Nano, while online sales is the latest measure that is aimed at boosting sales of this hatchback, it would be interesting to see whether this initiative actually does anything to boost sales of the world's least priced car. While the latest versions of the Tata Nano, in the form of the 2013 Model Year variants, were unveiled a month ago, the car continues to be a dud seller for Tata Motors.

Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works-2013-tata-nano-4.jpg

Although Tata Motors has offered attractive discounts and periodic refreshes of the car, the Nano has failed to sustain the initial momentum generated by such measures for long. The CNG powered Nano, dubbed the Nano E-MAX, due for a launch before the upcoming festive season and the much awaited diesel powered Nano, due for a 2014 launch, will be the two new variants of the car that could generate bigger volumes for Tata Motors.

The Nano factory at Sanand, Gujarat, is operating at less than 20% of its installed capacity of 250,000 cars a year. Tata Motors is looking to build other cars and small commercial vehicles at Sanand in case the Nano's fortunes don't turn around in the next year or two. For now though, the emphasis seems to still be on turning around the Nano, a revolutionary little car that promised to put India on four wheels.

Last edited by JayPrashanth : 30th July 2013 at 13:56. Reason: News Link Added
JayPrashanth is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 13:47   #2
BHPian
 
hellmet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: GTA
Posts: 810
Thanked: 637 Times
Default Re: Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

I like the Nano - the concept, the design and how it seats 4 adults practically. If this were a Honda, people would have been all over it and be prepared to even pay more. Sadly this comes from Tata so you have a dud.

Maybe they should introduce a non-cost-cut Nano for those not buying their first car or someone looking for some conveniences. How about a variant with power steering and disc brakes up-front?
hellmet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 13:50   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
Soumyajit9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: 10010
Posts: 1,501
Thanked: 1,665 Times
Default Re: Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

Good move, and I am pretty much hopeful that Online sales will somehow boost the sales of Nano.

In today's world, when a person can trust and buy mobiles worth 40k online, I am sure, one wouldn't mind buying a car online.
Ofcourse there has to be a success story promotion before buyers can actually start paying online.

The other point which I feel is most important is how the PDI and Delivery would take shape.
The PDI is crucial and everyone of us wants to have a thorough look of the car in the stockyard before saying yes to registration. It would be interesting how Tata manages this part. If these two things (PDI & Delivery) are handled efficiently, Nano would start flying of the stockyards of Tata through Online purchases.

I congratulate and wish luck to Tata. Innovative Thinking !!
Soumyajit9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 14:49   #4
Distinguished - BHPian
 
mpksuhas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: KA03/KL11
Posts: 2,715
Thanked: 3,297 Times
Default Re: Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

Interesting approach. However Nano's sales not picking up is not due to lack of sales points, so not sure how much the sales will increase by including online sales. Nano somehow did not click the value for money proposition box for an average car buyer and I feel that is the reason for sales not picking up.

Agreed PDI is crucial for TBHPians, however for an average car buyer it is not something which can be considered a deal breaker.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post

The PDI is crucial and everyone of us wants to have a thorough look of the car in the stockyard before saying yes to registration. It would be interesting how Tata manages this part.
Even now you call a dealer book a test drive, they come to your home / office with TD vehicle. Once you select the vehicle they come with bank papers, you hand over the cheque. Few days/ weeks later they call you up informs the car is ready. You go to the dealer get the car key, pose for the pic and drive away the car with ribbons and balloons.

By making this online I don't think there is going to be much of a difference in experience for a car buyer.
mpksuhas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 14:59   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,501
Thanked: 1,269 Times
Default Re: Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
By making this online I don't think there is going to be much of a difference in experience for a car buyer.
Quite correct, it is as much a gimmick as the credit card thing.

For it to be a true innovation it needs to work like Apple in the US. One should be able to configure the car online, selecting trims, colours, options, insurance, dealer choice, and the amount to be paid should be determined and paid online. Tata should then delivery the car within, say, 10 days, to the selected dealer for completing the paper work and delivery.

But that would mean a change in the manufacturing system all the way to supplier shop floors. No auto company I know of can do this, forget about Tata.

For now we are still stuck in an environment where the car you want, in the trim/variant/colour isn't available because there is no inventory of that choice, and nor is there a plan to make it for another two months. So one chooses next best choices, if one wants to still buy the same car.

So this online thing is a joke.
Sawyer is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 15:13   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Pune
Posts: 553
Thanked: 214 Times
Default Re: Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

I feel instead of doing this run advertising campaign which will create awareness in people. There is vast majority of people who do not know
1) Nano has luggage space at the back accessible from inside. I have seen so many people who think luggage space is under front bonnet.
2) Nano is little bit more crash worthy than its high selling peers
3) Nano has respectable drivability. Rear wheel drive can make difference at steep inclines.

Last edited by sushantr5 : 30th July 2013 at 15:15.
sushantr5 is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 15:44   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
Soumyajit9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: 10010
Posts: 1,501
Thanked: 1,665 Times
Default Re: Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Even now you call a dealer book a test drive, they come to your home / office with TD vehicle. Once you select the vehicle they come with bank papers, you hand over the cheque. Few days/ weeks later they call you up informs the car is ready. You go to the dealer get the car key, pose for the pic and drive away the car with ribbons and balloons. By making this online I don't think there is going to be much of a difference in experience for a car buyer.
What I was trying to say was:
- Would Tata call up customers to do a PDI / take delivery of the car ? I am saying this, because there is no dealer involved here. This can be a deal breaker for sure, if Tata asks the customer to come to some place other than his city to take a look of the car or delivery. It can be a deal breaker too, if Tata delivers the car to the customer and he sees a ORVM broken while delivery.

So there are multiple deal breaker options, have to see how Tata handles / manages them.

I am seeing this idea in comparison with Dell Computers. When I was in college and we bought our first desktop, Compaq and HP were hot cakes in India. Swanky showrooms bullied us in buying a Compaq.
When I first bought my laptop, I went to showroom and saw all jazzy laptops, but in the end, ordered a Dell - Online. My first online purchase amounting to Rs.50,000.
So what I am saying is, when there is something online, people will buy it. Trust and commitment is what the Tatas' have to show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Quite correct, it is as much a gimmick as the credit card thing...... .....So this online thing is a joke.
Yes, even I feel the same when I start thinking about customization. Like you said, we are always bound to choose the next best colour because our colour choice is not in the inventory - be it through dealer or online. Same is the case with every other thing that we buy, isn't it ? Mobiles, watches, laptops, etc. Human choices are unlimited. So I won't be cribbing much about not having the option of customization while buying online. I know that Tata manufactures Nano is 'n' number of colours and I will choose from one of them only. Same with even the top of the line Merc or BMW or Audi which is manufactured and sold in India, unless you customize and import it.
I have seen online websites taking order and customizing. But how many of them are budget cars ?

I would still commend Tata for thinking out of the Indian box and trying to do something different.
Success or Failure is a different ball game and only time will give the answer. If it becomes a success, I do wish Tata to file a Patent stating that no other car manufacturer can sell cars online in India. There is too much of ideas theft in India.

Serious Note: I hate Tata vehicles and will never buy a Tata, online / offline.
Another Serious Note: My comments are only opinions and thoughts. Tata is yet to release an official statement on this Online thing.
Soumyajit9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 16:00   #8
BHPian
 
veyron_head's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 419
Thanked: 225 Times
Default Re: Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

I dont think selling a Car online is going to help the cause. Buying a car is an aspiration for many, more so for the first time buyers who Nano targets. Selling such an aspirational product on the internet, like they sell toys on ebay, will only create a negative perception and add to the 'Cheap' image. People are buying a car, not a scale model.

More importantly, any customer would want to touch and feel the car, if not test drive it, before signing the cheque. That buying experience is totally lost when you buy it online.

That said, Nano is a great car. My only grouse is the lack of something as basic as a power steering. Thats the only fly in the ointment in an other good product. TM should atleast offer PS on the top end.
veyron_head is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 16:47   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
ghodlur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Thane
Posts: 5,040
Thanked: 2,077 Times
Red face Re: Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

What audience is Tata trying too woo with the online gimmick? The urban crowd would rather want to see the car physically before they would want to buy the car. Today when the demand for SUV is so high, a small car like Nano would hardly find any takers except for those who want to upgrade from 2 wheeler. even in rural segments, people prefer to use a 2 wheeler rather than a small car purely on ruggedness and fuel eficiency factors where Nano looks distant.

I feel Tata should concentrate more on the road shows, promotional activities in malls which will generate interest among the customers. For that matter make the showrooms also a bit swankier, get well behaved customer friendly staff instead of pouncing on anyone walking through the doors.
ghodlur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 18:12   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
GrammarNazi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,022
Thanked: 1,620 Times
Default

Hope they price the accessories well, I'll definitely buy some useful stuff.

IMO This online availability is about how affordable the Nano is. Whether its the product itself or the accessories or the servicing.

OT : That said, as usual I don't want TATA to wander away from ensuring the after sales service is not only good, but also that the feedback collection is foolproof. I really don't find the current method is good enough, coz one can literally see how they are putting a massive effort to improve A** but things are quite sad when it comes to ground reality.
GrammarNazi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 18:41   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,501
Thanked: 1,269 Times
Default Re: Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrammarNazi View Post
OT : That said, as usual I don't want TATA to wander away from ensuring the after sales service is not only good, but also that the feedback collection is foolproof. I really don't find the current method is good enough, coz one can literally see how they are putting a massive effort to improve A** but things are quite sad when it comes to ground reality.
Quite right. It is easy to announce initiatives from Corporate HQ, but a lot more difficult to change things on the ground across the country. It takes processes, rigorous implementation of these, parts availability, getting training and keeping talent in dealerships - actions in this critical area that Tata can influence but not control because dealers will have varied views about employee treatment. Hard, grunt work, on the ground from all concerned. Tata is decent at addressing problems when escalated to them, but the thing is, things should happen at dealership levels and not need such escalation in the first place.

Likewise, to elevate build quality levels - again, not so much on Tata shop floors, but on those of the many ancillaries.

These are things that Maruti/Hyundai/Toyota have worked hard on, Tata has a long way to travel.
Sawyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 18:55   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: RJ-02,DL,MH-12
Posts: 922
Thanked: 1,081 Times
Default Re: Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

M & M started selling Scooters online and now Tata's considering Nano for online sales.

I have serious doubts on the success for the reasons below:

- Price discovery / physical negotiations are not possible. Making initial payments online means decision and price locked

- Even if the car lands at dealer / sales outlet, good treatment could not be expected / guaranteed

- Giving advantage to online buyers would go against dealers, rubbing dealers on the wrong side I would say

- Bank loans, Insurance etc would be an issue for many of the interested buyers
i74js is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 19:04   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
GrammarNazi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,022
Thanked: 1,620 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
...keeping talent in dealerships...
IMO As long as the SA is honest, that's all I need. Currently, the way they seek +ve ratings is like by hook or by crook. Its like the government lays a law that just won't be implemented on ground.
GrammarNazi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 21:49   #14
BHPian
 
djpeesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 605
Thanked: 735 Times
Default Re: Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

What will be funny is if the FlipKart man carries it on his back in an even more oversized backpack :P

On a serious note, given that unlike mobile phones, cars need to be registered, inspected, and serviced, I wonder how the online model will work. If this is a glorified online TD booking, then its pretty pointless
djpeesh is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 30th July 2013, 23:11   #15
Distinguished - BHPian
 
anjan_c2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: India
Posts: 5,531
Thanked: 4,705 Times
Default Re: Online sales of the Tata Nano could be in the works

What next? Exchange with a two-wheeler, buy with your credit card and now online sales!
Despite all these measures and the 2013 model upgrades and offers announced, the car fails to sell more than 2K to 3 K units a month - some 10 % of what the Alto/ Alto 800 sell.
The Nano concept has failed to rock the sales chart. The initial hype and the waiting lists were quite rosy, but the Nano balloon has burst.
The bag of tricks for marketing the car by Tata Motors marketing people has failed to enthuse buyers.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 30th July 2013 at 23:14.
anjan_c2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A Nano trip on a Nano budget...in a Tata Nano novice_alto Travelogues 11 28th September 2014 15:19
Tata Nano's Sanand factory could be used to build other vehicles JayPrashanth The Indian Car Scene 2 20th June 2013 11:56
Coming soon- FIAT NANO! Nano could be rebadged a FIAT internationally. CrAzY dRiVeR The International Automotive Scene 18 17th February 2012 21:47
"Small Wonder: The Making of Nano": a book about the Tata Nano Mpower The Indian Car Scene 25 5th December 2010 23:11
The Tata Nano Gamble - how many Nano Tatas will have to sell agentsmith2 The Indian Car Scene 41 28th October 2009 13:40


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 02:11.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks