Through ‘Virtual Showroom’, Nissan India aims to recreate almost the same buying experience as going to a local dealership directly
The Indian automotive industry was badly hit by COVID-19. Sales plummeted to an all-time low in the past couple of months as dealerships and manufacturing plants were shut down to go in line with India’s lockdown protocols. As India begins its fourth stage of control measures, automotive dealerships in green and orange zones have been allowed to operate with proper safety guidelines. Visitors and sales still remain on the lesser side.
In the meantime, several OEMs introduced online platforms to make sales. Thanks to attractive introductory benefits, a considerable amount of potential customers have made the shift to online. Through these platforms, customers can book a product, register a test drive, make the full payment and get the vehicle delivered at their doorsteps in a safe, sanitised and socially-distanced environment. Essential paperwork is the only criteria in which a customer’s physical contact would be needed.
Nissan India and Datsun India are the latest brands to launch an online sales platform. With the aim of replicating an actual dealership visit as close as possible, the 360-degree ‘Virtual Showroom’ offers a host of interactive features. As an added bonus, customers can apply for vehicle finance as well.
It was only recently that Nissan launched the 2020 BS6 version of its Kicks crossover at a starting price of Rs 9.50 lakh ex-showroom. On the other hand, Datsun India is expected to launch the facelifted redi-GO BS6 in about two weeks. Prices should start at around Rs 3.00 lakh like its sibling from Renault India, Kwid BS6.
With the launch of Nissan Kicks BS6, the Japanese automaker debuted Renault’s new HR13 1.3-litre turbo petrol motor. Packing 154bhp and 254Nm of torque, it is the most powerful petrol mill in its class and comes mated to either a 6-speed manual or 8-step CVT. Lesser variants come with the old 1.5-litre H4K four-cylinder motor with 105bhp and 142Nm. There is no diesel variant at the moment as Renault has not updated its 1.5-litre K9K DCi motor (good for 108bhp and 240Nm in the Kicks) to BS6 specifications.
Datsun’s revamped redi-GO budget hatchback comes with +50 features over its BS4 counterpart. Exterior aesthetics have been vastly improved. Plus, its interiors sport better materials and a bigger touchscreen. Engine choices remain the same 0.8-litre and 1.0-litre with output rated as 53bhp/72Nm and 67bhp/91Nm, respectively. A 5-speed manual transmission comes as standard while the 1.0-litre motor is also available with an AMT unit.