Indonesia's automotive industry facing challenges in online sales

Indonesia's automotive industry facing challenges in online sales

The current challenge for automotive companies is accommodating interactions between marketers and customers since the average Indonesian customer is accustomed to examining products on the spot, particularly, when making expensive purchases, an expert has said. (ANTARA/HO)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The utilization of digital mediums for the promotion and sales of automotive products or technology will soon reach an optimal level, according to academics and automotive expert from Bandung Institute of Technology, Yannes Martinus. 

"We will soon reach the optimal level (on the digital utilization) but the public still needs time to adapt to the new medium," he told ANTARA on Thursday.

The current challenge for automotive companies is accommodating interactions between marketers and customers since the average Indonesian customers are accustomed to examining products on the spot, particularly, when making expensive purchases, he observed.

"Digital mediums can only provide visual information to potential customers, yet their preferred method is to have direct experience with the product, such as a test drive, to assure their choice. A hybrid system remains necessary with adherence to the strict health protocol during their visit to the showroom," Martinus said.

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Jongkie D Sugiarto from  the Association of Indonesia Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo) agreed with Martinus' view, saying that offline exhibitions are still necessary.

"The public is not yet accustomed to purchasing expensive products without on-the-spot observation of their coveted product," Sugiarto said.

"Automotive exhibitions must be held to allow potential customers to inspect or test the cars," he added.

Martinus said he hoped Indonesia would soon recover from the COVID-19 pandemic so that economic activities and the automotive industry can get back on track. 

"If the activities restrictions enforcement remains in place, our economy will stagnate and decline, and it is dangerous (for our country)," Martinus cautioned.

Despite the current difficulties faced by the industry, automotive companies must continue with efforts to promote their products on digital mediums to allow a greater market reach, he said.

At present, the government is offering several incentives to help the struggling automotive industry, including automotive tax discounts to attract potential car buyers, he added.

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