New Delhi | Jagran Auto Desk: In today’s episode of Jagran New Media’s #NayaBharat series, Jagran HiTech’s Editor Siddhartha Sharma was joined by Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head, AUDI India, where the two discussed the about the challenges Auto Industry is facing amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, and what are their plans to revive the industry after this lockdown phase.  

Siddhartha Sharma - Covid-19 became a global pandemic. Before this epidemic, the auto industry was going through a phase of economic slowdown. In such a situation, what was the impact on the luxury car industry after Covid-19?

Balbir Singh Dhillon - Covid-19 has damaged every industry. There is less damage to an industry and more to someone, that is the difference. It has been two months since the lockdown. In such a situation, the luxury car industry has also suffered from a business perspective. We are assessing changes in customer behavior and preparing a business plan accordingly. Our showrooms have started opening. Demand is expected to come gradually. If we talk about the servicing of the car, then about 80 percent of the dealership stores have opened, where about two-thirds of the people are servicing the car.


Siddhartha Sharma - What new strategy will the luxury car manufacturer bring, so that sales can be achieved again?

Balbir Singh Dhillon - You saw that the entire automotive industry shifted from BS4 to BS6 a few months ago. However, after this, we have decided that many vehicles will be introduced in India for the first time or they will be the next generation car. Meaning we are not presenting any such vehicle in which they are being introduced by changing the engine. The company will completely improve the product. In addition, we emphasized digitization in the era of social distancing. Virtual reality brought technology like augmented reality. Also, we have started online sale of vehicles, in which the customer can take 360 degree experience of the car. You can also book it if you like the car. But not everyone likes to buy luxury cars online. This is also true, because people touch and feel the leather of the car. Also like to drive with family before buying a car. Actually, buying a luxury car is a big achievement in life. At the same time, we provide online facility for servicing the car, you can book the servicing of the car and bring it to the store yourself. Or, the company's drivers will come home and take your car. Apart from this, we are assessing customer behavior and sending it to our digital platform.


Siddhartha Sharma - PM Modi has announced a relief package for SME and MSME sector. SME and MSME companies will also work with you. So how do you see this relief package?

Balbir Singh Dhillon - All decisions of the government are about supply and demand. The government has done the work of helping people in the lower ranks, that is a commendable step. Most of our customers come from SME or MSME. In such a situation, the condition of the people of these sectors will improve, then our sales will also increase. Apart from the government, the RBI has reduced the rate of interest. Today's rate of interest has reached its lowest level. This is a very positive step. This will attract the buyers to buy the car. I think sales will improve in one to two months.

Siddhartha Sharma - How do you see the new India?

Balbir Singh Dhillon - I am a devotee of India Story. I remain hopeful about the future. If you see, there are 22 cars per thousand in India. In such a situation, auto mobility is yet to increase. Today big company wants to come to India and build its manufacturing base here, but we have to focus and work hard. We hope from the government to make business easier and India is a better country for business.

Posted By: Talib Khan