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Indian Automakers Follow Trends To Expand Market Share
Automobile trends evolve by not only consumer aspirations or tech advancements, but also regulatory policies. With the government setting an ambitious goal for the auto industry to go completely electric by 2030, e-mobility is clearly the way forward for India
Photo Credit : Reuters
The Indian automobile industry is the 5th largest in the world and accounts for an impressive 7.1 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). With estimates pegging its growth at $16.5 billion by 2021 from around $7 billion in 2016, automakers are gearing up to give customers the best driving experience they can buy.
The drive to Design:
Design is at the forefront of meeting consumer aspirations and the "first impression" of a vehicle can either make or break the future of the product. As a result, automobile companies in the country are ramping up their design capabilities to stay updated with the market. Aimed at gaining 'mindshare' of the customer, manufacturers are bringing out the humane element in their Passenger Vehicles (PV). For instance, SUVs which are generally perceived to have an aggressive look are now being designed with an increased focus on strength without losing its essence.
Closely following worldwide trends in Commercial Vehicle (CV) Design, coupled with benchmark developments in materials, finishing, visual identity, utility and comfort, the Indian automobile industry has introduced vehicles that exemplify advanced design capabilities. There has been a steady rise of hybrid, electric and alternate fuel buses that boast of advanced and distinctive world-class design. Additionally, with Commercial Vehicles, increasingly being recognized as professional workstations, the design now is largely focusing on elements such as aerodynamics and cabin comfort thus improving the fuel consumption in long-distance operations resulting in reduced fatalities.
Over the years, elements such as increased demand for better comfort, quality, connectivity, rapid turnaround, easy maintenance, and safety-have added up to the need for an integrated design expression which goes beyond mere styling.
The future in technology:
To meet the aspirations of the digitally savvy consumer - both in PVs and CVs - players in the sector have renewed their focus on manufacturing future ready and sustainable vehicles. In case of PVs, companies are mapping technology solutions in key areas such as powertrain systems, ADAS and enhanced connectivity to their future product portfolio and have defined the application framework. Here, the architecture approach will be targeted to reduce complexity, provide for future technologies and ensure global relevance.
By enforcing BS IV emission norms across the country in April 2017, and BS VI emissions slated for April 2020, the Government of India is on a mission to build a Greener India. Towards this, global CV manufacturers have adopted path-breaking and cost-effective technologies such as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) - after-treatment approach and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) - with diesel/particle oxidation catalysts or particulate filter. Given the increasing need for variants in the market, some companies have gone on to introduce Modular Strategy, to ensure control, standardize and manage development of mass-scale production.
Engage to connect:
Even as industry players are focused on refining design and imbibing technology to attract the consumer, new and improved marketing strategies are ultimately needed to engage and influence them to purchase the vehicle. Today, marketing calls for clever creativity as the target customers are based in different markets - each of which require a unique and impactful strategy. For instance, in Tier II and III markets, companies are customizing experiential campaigns to influence specific communities comprising of professionals such as teachers, doctors, lawyers and business persons. However, urban or Tier 1 markets call for engagement at a mass level.
Another growing source of engagement with the audience in the semi-urban and rural market is Digital marketing. With increasing smartphone penetration and competitive prices being offered by telecom companies, accessibility has drastically increased. It is definitely a growing media and very relevant to all sector, however the use of the medium entirely depends on its category.
Automakers have taken cognizance of these facts, realizing that these markets are definite growth drivers of the future, companies are customizing experiential campaigns to influence its target audience. Companies are increasingly following a 360-degree approach as being present across mediums including TV, Print, Stills, Digital, Mobile, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, engagement marketing is critical. Therefore, the one imperative fact going forward, is to leverage interconnectedness of all mediums of engagement, while effectively communicating a message to the audiences.
Automobile trends evolve by not only consumer aspirations or tech advancements, but also regulatory policies. With the government setting an ambitious goal for the auto industry to go completely electric by 2030, e-mobility is clearly the way forward for India. Following this, Indian automakers have already shifted gears to begin work on sustainable transportation, both in the PV and CV segments. They are also honing their technical capabilities, through extensive in-house research and development activities, to develop innovative EV mobility solutions. As a leading global automobile manufacturer of cars, utility vehicles, buses, trucks and defence vehicles, Tata Motors has been in sync with current trends at home and on the global turf. Through the introduction of first-of-its kind technology, smart designs and creative marketing initiatives that closely engage the consumer, the company has built an excellent portfolio of extensive products, paving the way for robust growth.
(By Tata Motors spokesperson)