Hyundai has witnessed a growth of 20% YoY in August: Tarun Garg, HMIL

Garg, Director- Sales, Marketing & Service, HMIL discusses what the normal means for the brand, its new challenges and more

e4m by Nafisa Shaheen
Updated: Sep 14, 2020 9:31 AM
Tarun Garg

Markets across the world seem to be under the effect of the virus. Indian market is no exception. However, with the festive season on the way and unlock 4.0 in effect, businesses have slowly and steadily started rebooting operations. Industries across spectrum, including the automobile industry, have adapted to the new normal and are gradually coming back on the track.

With the ease in lockdown and customers resorting to personal mobility rather than public transport, Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) seems to be optimistic with some new launches for the festive season ahead.

The South Korean automaker has been witnessing growth in sales after the lockdown ended with a total of 40,000 units sold during last month in the domestic market. It experienced a growth of 20% YoY basis in August. Guarded by optimistic thoughts, HMIL has recently announced the addition of two new Directors on its Board, which includes Tarun Garg, Director- Sales, Marketing & Service, to facilitate the growth and expansion of the auto major.

In a candid conversation with exchange4media, Garg discussed the new normal for HMIL, new challenges, bets on digital, customer engagement, new product portfolio in pipeline and more.

Edited Excerpts:

How has COVID-19 impacted the business of HMIL over the past 120 days?

The new normal has set newer challenges for the industry. The biggest challenge is to sustain business operations and ensuring the financial health of the organisation. Performance of the automotive industry is linked to each stakeholder in the value chain, starting from vendors to our dealerships. All our dealerships, workshops and vendors are fully functional by adhering to the strict government safety guidelines.

In the last few months, we have started our operation with cautious optimism; our plant operation has now achieved 99.9% production level. Currently, the domestic market is witnessing increased demand as customers prefer personal mobility and the hope for green shoots for future was visible in the August 2020 sales for HMIL with a growth of 20% YOY basis. The shift of customer preference is quite clear as online enquires is gaining momentum in metros while the footfalls have gained in tier 2 and tier 3 cities due to low spread rate of the pandemic. We expect the coming festive season will see the bright side of unlock times and will dilute the elements of uncertainty.

 With brands betting big on digital, how did HMIL leverage digital? Which were the most impactful digital campaigns by the brands?

 Hyundai has been pioneering digital transformation by curating engaging virtual experiences for customers by remotely connecting them with Brand Hyundai.

 Amidst the pandemic, Hyundai has continued to virtually engage its customers through innovative and impactful digital content, ranging from social outreach initiatives such as #HyundaiCares campaign to Hyundai’s Corporate Brand Anthem #HaqHaiHamara, Virtual World of Hyundai - #TheNextDimension and many more captivating campaigns. We have received over 300 million views for the #TheNextDimension Virtual Launch Event and Hyundai’s Corporate Brand Anthem Haq Hai Humara. The largest Subscriber base for any auto brand in India on YouTube with over 755K subscribers and the largest Facebook community among auto brands in India with 12.3 million fans.

 What did the brand do to keep its customers engaged during the pandemic induced lockdown? How did it maintain a clear channel of communication with their customers?

HMIL’s uniquely designed campaign #WePledgeToBeSafe was created to generate social awareness around social distancing and asked customers to pledge to be safe. Social distancing can lead to stress, boredom, and a sense of loneliness. We witnessed a huge engagement from this initiative. Customers shared their videos with us how they are staying safe at home and enjoying their family time.

To add to this, under the ambit of Hyundai Cares, we have introduced multiple financial schemes to enhance customer confidence through programs such as EMI Assurance and associations with banks to offer Unique Customer-Centric Car Finance Schemes.  These schemes are solutions to customer apprehensions and offer convenience and ease of ownership during these challenging times. HMIL was the first company to enter subscription space in 2019 to mitigate the financial burden of customers offering peace of mind.

Additionally, the Click To Buy is India’s first and most comprehensive car buying platform and we have received over 30, 000 enquiries and over 3.5 million visitors.  To further achieve our mission of being a lifetime partner of our customers – we have introduced ‘Hyundai Mobility Membership’ India’s first customer-centric smart ownership and lifestyle program.  Hyundai Mobility Membership has been designed to empower our new-age customers with an unmatched lifestyle experience. The retail experience is now becoming aspirational and our new customers are now looking at solutions which are beyond mobility and can offer 360-degree value additions.

What did the brand do to support dealers who were going through a booking crunch during the lockdown?

In these challenging times, we worked closely with our channel partners towards ensuring their business viability. The recent product launches such as all-new Creta, spirited new Verna, Venue iMT, all-new Aura, and the Grand i10 Nios have given a strong boost to our business partners. Additionally, our sales team is working with dealer partners to connect with banks to further assist them for all the financial support.

 Any new-product portfolio in the pipeline? How do you see the automobile industry in the times to come?

As India’s most progressive and forward-looking brand, we are deeply committed to the country and have a strong line-up of future products for the customers. In the past 18 months, we have launched eight products – Venue, Nios, Kona, Elantra, Aura, Creta, Verna, and Tucson. We would like to continue with the same momentum and offer our customers with best-in-class products.

 

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