When was the last time you visited a showroom to purchase or test ride a car? A typical setup will include a handful of cars, a salesperson and a test drive car in a showroom. But if TVS & Sons are to be believed, this all can be a thing of the past, as they are working on the concept of Virtual Showroom, a showroom that will consist no real cars but TV Screens and product advisors to sell a car.
The automobile major from the south which runs 150 showrooms across the country is moving towards the future of retailing. They are saying that the sales person will be replaced by a product advisor, who instead of pushing the sales, will give a more balanced perspective to the buyers. A test-drive will be arranged at home, if a person selects a car at the preferred time.
G. Srinivasa Raghavan, Global President & CEO, TVS & Sons say, "It's about being relevant now. We live in a digital world where the buyer comes to the showroom after checking it out on websites, and, maybe after test-driving a buddy's new buy. Why do we need to have six cars parked behind a glass door?"
Trade pundits say that about 90% car dealers lose money over a single dealership as the margins are very low, while the investment and cost of operation are very high. This is the reason why TVS & Sons, which is a seasoned business-house is moving towards a virtual showroom. Because such showroom will only need some screens, internet connection and few employees. No inventory, no transportation and no maintenance cost!
It will be interesting to see if this concept takes a shape of reality and how soon will it take place. Few car manufacturers are already moving towards e-commerce to maximize their reach.