Tata Motors will allow bookings of its upcoming SUV Hexa on the group’s e-commerce platform Tatacliq.com. While players like Chevrolet and Renault have had such initiatives prior, this will be a first for Tata Motors. The delivery of the car will only be done at a retail outlet, informed Vivek Srivatsa, head of marketing, passenger vehicles unit.
Earlier this year, Chevrolet had revealed that it had established an online store on Amazon, following a pilot for its Trailblazer model. India became the first market where the car-maker had established a full online store on the e-com major.
Renault announced a tie-up with Paytm in July 2015 for its hatchback Kwid, due for launch three months later. Customers could pay online, or pay at dealerships using their Paytm wallets. Renault became the first car maker to tie up with Paytm. Besides which, the brand saw 20 pc of bookings through an app in the first four months of launch.
Digital experience, experiential push
The Hexa, expected to be priced at Rs 15 lakh, is due for a January 2017 launch. It will compete against the Hyundai Creta, Toyota Innova Crysta and Mahindra XUV500. The Creta sold 6,822 units in November 2016, while the Crysta sold 4,934 units and the XUV500 sold 1,069 units.
A 360-degree campaign will be unveiled around the Hexa launch and digital will have an important role, informed the head of marketing. Experiential efforts are already underway.
The brand will steer clear of footballer Lionel Messi for the upcoming launch, Srivatsa said, clarifying that it had nothing to do with the footballer's tax fraud conviction in Spain. Messi continues as ambassador for the Tiago.
"The decision to hire him wasn't made overnight, and several things were factored in," he added.
Explaining why the soccer star won't be part of the Hexa campaign, Srivatsa said, “The association with Messi has helped the brand for sure. We have done very well on the Tiago, and the demand has far exceeded our production. We’ve actually gone up to number three in terms of sales in the passenger vehicles segment. But, for the Hexa we have a different approach since it’s a car in a different price point, one which requires the product to stand out by itself.”
The brand will engage in traditional advertising, but given the TG the focus will be on establishing a 'high quality' online presence, with a website equipped to deliver online test drives, and an online sales demo in seven minutes.
Marketing began in October in an effort to boost test drives. The brand partnered with the Bollywood movie Rock On 2 and with musician Anoushka Shankar on her six-city tour, showcasing the car's sound system.
Hexa 'Experience Centres' in five metros invited people to drive the to-be-launched car through challenging drive tracks.
"No car manufacturer has done something pre-launch, and the idea for us is to stand out and put away the perception of our cars not being up to the mark quality wise,” surmised Srivatsa.