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Auto dealers' body ties up with Google for upskilling workforce

Auto dealers body ties up with Google for upskilling workforce
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New Delhi: The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) on Wednesday said it along with Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) has tied up with Google India to bridge the digital skills gap in the country's auto dealerships and build their capacity in this critical growth driver.

ASDC and FADA in partnership with Google India aims to prepare over 20,000 auto dealerships to engage with customers in the ongoing and post pandemic era. 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.

"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," FADA President Vinkesh Gulati said in a statement.

Similarly, ASDC Chairman Nikunj Sanghi said existing skills will require a lot of redefinition and upskilling will play a major role when the sector re-enters 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," he added.

Google India Head of Automotive Nikhil Bansal said that 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 per cent over the last three years from 2016 to 2019," he said. Now with Covid-19 making consumers further reluctant to visit vehicle dealerships, and as a result, walk-ins are even fewer, Bansal said.

"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," he added.

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