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FADA Partners With Google to Train Dealership Personnel to Encourage Virtual Buying Experience

Maruti Suzuki Car Sanitisation during Covid-19 times. (Image source: Maruti Suzuki)

Maruti Suzuki Car Sanitisation during Covid-19 times. (Image source: Maruti Suzuki)

It is believed that some customers may not wish to visit a dealership as many times as before prior to making a purchase decision, hence, there is an urgent need for retail to become virtual.

Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) and Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) have joined hands with Google India to bridge the digital skill gap in the country’s auto dealerships and build their capacity in this critical growth driver.

Industry experts believe that some customers may not wish to visit a dealership as many times as before prior to making a purchase decision, and hence, there is an urgent need for automotive retail to become virtual, lean, and flexible.

Tailor-made by Google India under its “Grow with Google” initiative, the training program will be conducted via a series of webinars on Digital Marketing, Hyper Local Marketing, and Full-Funnel Strategy on Google India’s YouTube channel. The focus of the program is on empowering dealer principals to adopt digital tools and platforms to engage with customers. In its second phase, the program also aims to train frontline sales and marketing executives via a series of vernacular executional videos. This will be followed by an online assessment and certification by Google India, ASDC and FADA.

Commenting on the initiative, Nikhil Bansal, Head of Automotive, Google India, said “Over the years, the window to influence purchase decisions through offline efforts has become smaller. The average number of visits to dealerships in India fell by 50% over the last three years from 2016 to 2019. And now, COVID-19 has made consumers further reluctant to visit car dealerships, and as a result, walk-ins are even fewer. To aid business recovery, auto players are encouraged to take their dealerships to customers, online. We have been working with leading auto OEMs to help them digitise their dealership networks, and with this initiative, we are now bringing our learning and support to handhold the larger auto dealer ecosystem to go digital in collaboration with ASDC and FADA. We are really excited to join hands with the industry in this first-of-its-kind initiative to help the dealer fraternity and support them in this necessary transition. “

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Nikunj Sanghi, Chairman, Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC), said, “We are collectively experiencing an unprecedented time. COVID-19 has brought significant change and our relationships have gone digital. Existing skills will require a lot of redefinition and skilling will play a major role when we re-enter the new world. We need to train the workforce on how to use digital tools and train the entire ecosystem to monitor their efficiency. Hence to maintain market continuity, both ASDC and FADA, with the help of Google, are helping the dealerships become as active as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on digital platforms. We are also constantly working towards enhancing our skill development initiatives keeping in pace with the rapidly changing technology trends and emerging industry needs. ASDC assessment and certification will help in boosting the competency and competitiveness of industry stakeholders”.

Talking about the webinars, Vinkesh Gulati, President, Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), said “With the advent of technology and new channels of communication, the classical approach to marketing products and services at the local level has undergone a paradigm change. Gone are the age-old practices of relying on inserts, banners, and small print ads to gain exposure. Today, geo-location targeting, hyperlocal marketing and other sharply defined digital marketing techniques have revolutionized the advertising industry. The digital movement by the dealers’ community reaffirms FADA’s strong commitment to retain the dynamism of dealer business in the automobile ecosystem and also assure its participation in Government’s Digital India Movement in the post-COVID world. The Google–ASDC–FADA webinars are hence aimed to prepare Dealer Principals and their teams to stay ahead in the game in times to come.”

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The initiative focuses on training over 20,000+ auto dealerships across the country to build an online presence and providing digital skill training to 100,000+ auto dealers across the marketing and sales divisions.

About Google, Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) and Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA)

Google: Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.

Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC): ASDC, is the first sector Skill Council of India, promoted by the Automobile industry, through Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) along with the Government of India represented by Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). ASDC envisions making India self –sufficient in availability of skilled personnel for sustaining growth & increasing competitiveness of the automobile industry.

Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA): Founded in 1964, Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (F A D A), is the apex national body of automobile retail industry engaged in the sale, service and spares of 2/3 Wheelers, Passenger Cars, UVs, Commercial Vehicles (including buses and trucks) and Tractors. F A D A represents over 15,000 automobile dealers having 25,000 dealerships including 30 Associations of Automobile Dealers at the Regional, State and City levels accounting for 90% of market share in India. FADA, at the same time also actively networks with the industries and the authorities, both at the Central & State levels to provide its inputs and suggestions on the Auto Policy, Taxation, Vehicle Registration Procedure, Road Safety and Clean Environment, etc. to sustain the growth of the Automobile Retail Trade in India.

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