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GM India to take bookings for Trailblazer on Amazon

General Motors India has said it will take bookings for its premium sports utility vehicle Trailblazer on ecommerce site Amazon.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 13, 2015, 07.49 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: General Motors India has said it will take bookings for its premium sports utility vehicle Trailblazer on ecommerce site Amazon, a sign of the growing importance of online marketplaces to the auto business.

“We found that many of our customers already refer to online platforms before they buy a vehicle, especially in the premium segment, and this new approach makes buying a Chevrolet car an even more consumer friendly process,” Arvind Saxena, the company’s president and managing director, told ET.

The specifications of the SUV will be posted on Amazon.in on October 14, however, bookings for it will start simultaneously at dealerships and the ecommerce site only on October 21, the company said. Bookings through Amazon will end on October 26.

The booking amount has been set at Rs 25,000 and is refundable. Bookings received on Amazon.in will be fulfilled by the nearest dealership, the company said.
The SUV, expected to be in the Rs 25-30 lakh price bracket, will be the costliest vehicle to be sold on a third-party electronic marketplace in India. The Trialblazer is the first of 10 products the American carmaker plans to launch in India in the next five years.

Last year, leading utility vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra had opened bookings of its new Scorpio exclusively on online market place Snapdeal. General Motors India’s sales have slumped in the last two years. It logged 19,299 units in cumulative sales between April and September 2015-16, down 33.2% from a year ago. For the corresponding six months of 2014-15, sales were down 34% from a year ago.

According to research firm Frost & Sullivan, by 2020, 60-70% of new car sales leads will be generated digitally. A global study by consulting firm McKinsey found that a third of customers would consider buying a car online.

On whether India customers are ready to book such high-value products online, Arvind Saxena, president and managing director of General Motors India, said, “Of course, we understand that the complete buying cannot happen for a high-value product like the premium SUV Trailblazer, but we are using it as a medium to reach out to the millions of people who come online.” He said vehicle delivery will happen through dealerships.

“This a very good marketing exercise for the company, as it will help them create some buzz before the launch, rather than helping them in actual sales,” said Abudul Majeed, partner, Pricewaterhouse.

However, some Trailblazer buyers in India may get their vehicles with typical Amazon packing, and the post-delivery check will happen at the dealership, said a company executive said.

The popularity of e-commerce is growing—about 65 million consumers in India are expected to buy goods online this year compared with about 40 million in 2014. According to a global research firm, online retail sales in India are expected to increase to Rs 50,000 crore by 2016, growing at 50-55% annually over the next three years.

According to another joint study by ASSOCHAM-Deloitte, e-commerce business in India is set to cross $16 billion by the end of 2015.

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