Five years ago, the number of women car buyers in the Indian auto industry stood at 10-12 per cent but according to Mahindra First Choice, it has gone up to around 25 per cent. This consistent growth has induced carmakers to build vehicles that are women-friendly. The reason for this change is visible from more and more women involving themselves in the professional world rather than being housewives. They are now better informed, empowered and independent. And thus there has been a sizeable shift in gender-based vehicle purchasing as women have been increasingly buying and maintaining their own cars.
Mahindra First Choice Services (MFC Services) has been tapping on this growing sector and has been analysing the potential of this expanding sector. According to the study, there are three main aspects that influence car purchases by women: safety, security and convenience. Keeping these things in mind, car makers have started including features like reverse camera, parking sensors and automatic door closing system in their products. Above that, they have also been providing several services like 24-hour roadside assistance, apps to live-track the car, pick-up and drop facility for servicing and even an SOS button for a convenient and safer ownership experience.
On the same note, car service providers have also been looking at innovative ways to make women owners feel more comfortable in bringing their cars to service centres — and staying informed about the jobs carried out on their vehicles. There has also been a thought for having a service centre that is operated and run exclusively by women for women. This approach is relatively new and possible only for select brands at this moment not just in India but at a global level. However, in India, there are some service stations that have already hired female service advisors to achieve a more trustworthy and comfortable experience for women car owners.
Based on the market research Mahindra First Choice Services had curated ‘Under the Bonnet’ initiative – a car servicing programme for female executives in the corporate sector. Now, the company is planning to introduce yet another initiative called A Date with your car. This new initiative is expected to provide women with a hands-on experience in basic car care and troubleshooting techniques. It will not only encourage women to gain knowledge about cars but also help to boosts their confidence during their visit to service stations, says the company. Apart from these initiatives, Mahindra First Choice Services offers packages like Road Side Assistance (RSA) and Annual Maintenance Packages for all its customers.