Car dealers woo buyers with doorstep test drives in Goa | Goa News

PANAJI: The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way Goans shop for cars with more and more people asking automobile dealerships to bring the car home for a test drive. While automobile dealers are not sure if this is a permanent trend, they are going all out to woo customers, even offering on-site sanitisation of vehicles before the test drive and home delivery of the fresh purchase.
Car and two-wheeler dealerships in the state are yet to see any revival in demand for personal vehicles but are counting on the coming festive season to help lift demand.
“Before Covid, it was just 30% of the customers who asked for test drives at their homes but now 70-80% of the people are asking for the car to be brought home for a test drive,” president of Goa automobile dealers association (GADA) Prashant Joshi said.
Joshi also said that automobile retailers are also offering customers the option of purchasing vehicles without visiting the showroom, but the move has yet to enthuse customers.
The culture of asking dealerships to bring the car home for a test drive had started before Covid, but the pandemic has sped up the trend. “At the same time, there are people who are avoiding test drives too,” said past president of GADA and chairman of Caculo group of companies Manoj Caculo.
Caculo also said that along with poor footfalls at showrooms, after-sales turnover is also down.
Passenger vehicle sales in India rose by 14% in August driven by pent-up demand, the society of Indian automobile manufacturers (Siam) said. However, Goa has bucked the trend, said automobile dealerships.
Joshi said that unlike other states where dependence on public transport is high, in Goa the density of private vehicles is high and as such there is no pent up demand.
“The only segment showing revival in Goa is the Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh segment which is at around 75% of pre-Covid levels, but for cars in the Rs 10 lakh and above bracket, sales are at 25% of the earlier levels,” Caculo said.

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