Car-buyers today are luckier than those in the 1980s and earlier because car companies readily offer them a chance to test-drive a new model. In earlier days, companies were less accommodating as they were not willing to register the new cars unless they were being sold and besides, it was a ‘sellers market’ then. The growth of the market created high demand so if a customer insisted on trying a car, his request could be rejected because the salesman knew there were another 5 other customers waiting to buy it anyway.
But all that changed in the 1990s as the market got more competitive. And with cars looking the ‘same’ on paper, the emphasis switched to the ‘driving experience’ to highlight the difference. Each brand would proudly boast of a superior driving experience and in contrast to the past, would try their best to get customers behind the wheel. Many companies held test-drive campaigns, inviting the public to come and try their latest models. At motorshows in recent years, test-drives have been an important activity for the exhibitors.
Now, with concerns about the pandemic, car-shopping has to change again. Apart from reluctance of some customers to visit showrooms, there is also social distancing to observe and other procedures to adhere to. So what Sime Darby Auto Hyundai (SDAH) is doing is to go to the customer instead. The company recently began its ‘Test Drive to You’ campaign which brings the latest Hyundai models to the customer’s doorstep to try out.
It’s actually good for the customer, not only because of the convenience but also because the test-drive can be done on familiar roads in the area around the home.
“The ‘Test Drive to You’ campaign is an exclusive personalised service by Sime Darby Auto Hyundai to reach out to our customers wherever they are. We have a total of six sales outlets in Peninsular Malaysia which are offering this service. Interested parties just need to register their interest and we will arrange for a test drive session from the customer’s home,” said Low Yuan Lung, MD of Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors.
SOPs for protection of customers
SDAH is committed to customers’ safety by having Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which are in accordance with requirements by the Health Ministry. These include sanitisation of test-drive vehicles before and after every session, and the wearing of face masks by the customer as well as the sales consultant. The latter will be seated at the rear to observe social distancing practice.
As a precaution, thermal scanning will be done prior to the test drive. Should the customer’s body temperature exceed 37.5ᵒC, the test-drive session will have to be cancelled. Additionally, customers are required to sanitise their hands with the hand sanitiser provided.
Customers who wish to request for a test-drive from their homes can register at the SDAH website and an appointment will be arranged. The six showrooms are located in Kuala Lumpur (2), Selangor (1), Perak (1), Prai (1) and Johor (1). The website also has information about the promotions, the latest being cash rebates of up to RM13,000 on selected models.