RelioQuick conducts its first ‘Auto Mall’ in Chennai
Nithyanandh K, As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!
RelioQuick, an integrated marketing communications service provider has launched ‘Auto Mall’, a regional automobile exhibition, in Chennai for the first time.
Auto Mall gets many automakers to display their vehicles under one roof. The Chennai edition which is being held at the Chennai Trade Centre, Nandambakkam will stay open from April 12 to 14.
The expo serves as an easy way to make your car buying decision and has exhibits from brands like Audi, Volvo, Volkswagen, Renault, Skoda, Maruti, Toyota, Chevrolet and Mahindra. Every manufacturer’s local dealer handles the stalls and customer queries.
The Auto Mall also has a section reserved for auto enthusiasts wherein a rich collection of vintage classics including the Fiat 500 Topolino and the Ford Mustang are on display.
The two performance products showcased are the BMW M6 and a mighty Nissan GT-R Skyline tuned to produce 650 bhp.
As we browsed the stall, we learnt that Mahindra has started delivering the XUV500 with new brakes sourced from Bosch and an upgraded infotainment system OS (Version 4.0). Maruti has the Swift, Ertiga and the Alto 800 on display. The Swift and the Ertiga are instantly available in all colors, indicating at a dip in the demand. Waiting period for the Dzire is about a month.
Toyota has the facelifted Etios twins to show along with the Toyota Innova while Renault displays the Duster, Scala and the Pulse. The recently introduced Travelogue edition of the Scala is yet to reach the showrooms in Chennai. Hyundai’s lineup includes the Elantra, Sonata, Verna and the i20.
The new VW Touareg makes a rare appearance, probably for the first time in such regional auto shows. The Chevrolet stall was graced by the Sail twins and the Cruze. A SAE Buggy designed and built by the students of Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Chennai with an innovative front suspension system is also in attendance.
Important automakers like Honda, Mercedes, BMW, Nissan, Tata Motors and Ford were absent at the Auto Mall. Hyosung and Harley Davidson are the only two wheeler makers present at the venue.
We spoke to Mr. Sukhbir Singh, Director, Relio Quick India Pvt. Ltd, who gave us an organizer’s perspective. If you don’t fully get the idea of such an exhibition, this part of the story will clear the cobwebs.
The first RelioQuick Auto Mall for 2013 was held in Ahmedabad in February and the second show is in Chennai this weekend at the Nandambakkam Trade Center.
Relio Quick is planning at least two such shows in southern India in 2013 with Madurai, Coimbatore and Vizag under consideration. Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns are not impacted by the Sensex movement or market conditions as car penetration levels in these places is very low. Hence the focus for the rest of the shows this year is on them. Organizers have planned at least four such shows this year.
What is the reason to host the RelioQuick Auto Mall?
- Customers have to go to showrooms which may be quite far from where they live.
- Over 100 products (new, refresh, variants and special edition types) are launched every year and for the customer to update himself, there is no quicker or easier way.
- Customers can compare cars quickly to get an objective view – This is relevant to prospects confused between the Pulse and Micra, or say Rapid and Vento.
- Serves as a great family outing when there are many petrolheads in your household!
- If a decision on the car purchase is made, loan options can be discussed at the venue by State Bank of India, Relio Quick’s official loan partner.
Main cities have more than one show every year, but in Tier 2 cities there is an appetite for such exhibitions. However show organizers have not been able to reach out to them. Manufacturers cannot go to each city or town to open a new dealership, and for such places, the platform is really helpful.
Automall is not a brand showcasing platform. In other words, this is not an Auto Expo. The aim is for the participants (either dealers or OEM’s) to sell and grow. In the Ahmedabad show conducted in February, 31,000 people turned out and 2,800 inquiries were generated out of which 218 were hot prospects. A hot prospect is a person who purchases the car in the next 7-10 days.
A particular premium brand of two-wheelers set up a stall at one of the cities, and in spite of having a dealer outlet right opposite the venue, four customers booked bikes at the show venue. Some brands have tasted success in converting customers of the same segment from a competitor brand, or make them stretch to buy their products. Mumbai and Bangalore have had the maximum leads and conversions.
In the future, RelioQuick Mall organizers will provide the facility for test drives, as ownership aspirations aroused are much more while driving a car than when just touching and seeing one.
So, if you’re in Chennai and are planning to buy a new car sometime soon, you could visit the RelioQuick Auto Mall over this weekend with your family and check out the vehicles on display. After all, car buying is a family decision to us Indians!