This is how Renault E-Store is helping TC Euro Cars ride out Covid-19
Jerrica · Apr 3, 2020 03:53 PM
Renault is probably one of the quieter car brands in Malaysia. The French brand has always been on sale in Malaysia for years under TC Euro Cars and while it doesn't appear on consumers' radar as often as a Honda or a Toyota, TC Euro Cars (TCEC) have trippled their sales in five years.
Renault sold only 475 cars in 2015, climbing to 599 in the following year. They hit a new high in 2018 with 1,009 cars sold and ended 2019 with 1,218 cars sold.
The marketing strategies has paid off through the years as Renault went from building a core group of early supporters with the sporty 3-door Renault Megane RS before going mainstream with Renault Captur. It is notable that since the Captur’s launch in 2015, Renault has enjoyed a steady upward climb in sales.
Currently, TCEC is charting its next phase of growth with their Renault E-Store while their Renault Subscription aims to provide an alternative to traditional car ownership model. Both have proved to be a good bet in this Covid-19 period.
According to TCEC’s CEO, Wong Hoe Mun, the company's latest efforts is part of a wider effort to future-proof themselves using digital tools.
Their first move was to launch Renault Subscription, the first by any car company in Malaysia. It was launched in October 2019. The subscription plan not only offers customers an alternative to buying a car, but flexibility and freedom in car ownership as they are freed from the conventional long-term lock-ins of traditional hire purchase.
Unlike a conventional leasing programme, Renault Subscription customers have the option to switch to a different car for the weekend or holiday.
The next step was the launching of the Renault E-Store, which in hindsight, proved to be a good measure as it allowed TC Euro Cars to have at least an alternative to retail sales in this Covid-19 period. Since then, we have seen several other brands including Subaru, Proton, and Volkswagen launching their own e-store as well, but none of them covers as much of the car buying process as Renault.
Whether it is requesting for booking for a test drive, purchasing insurance and acquiring a loan and even trading in your existing vehicle, the E-Store has all these online facilities thought out.
Wong told us that the online store’s aim is to “cut the red-tape of having competing sales teams, all streamlined to offer a consistent experience, translating the savings back to customers. Whilst we still have our sales teams available at showrooms to assist customers, we think of them more of product consultants – where they can assist to advise you on the vehicle, the service or the loan or documentation needed.”
To make a purchase of a new Renault car, customers can login to the E-Store and fill up all the requirements by providing their personal particulars and even uploading their identification documents.
Customers who are interested in a Captur can even sign-up with Renault's partner GoCar for a 3-hour, no commitment test drive, without the presence of a sales person. All they need to do is enter a promo code that TCEC will provide for the occasion. Again, it's something that only TC Euro Cars offer.
After picking the model of their choice, they can immediately proceed to key in the loan details from a list of panel banks readily available with the E-Store. Of course, if they want to pick a bank not in the list, they are welcome to specify their bank of choice.
TCEC will then submit all documents to the banks and will keep the customer updated regarding the status of their loans within 3 days. Upon loan approval, the banker will then step in to assist the customer directly.
Customers are then asked if they would like to collect their new Renault at the showroom or have the car delivered to their door step before making the final step, and that is to make a booking fee that will seal the deal.
The E-Store even allows customers the option to trade-in their existing vehicles online. Customers will just have to provide images of their vehicles and JPJ registration card.
Upon receiving the photos, an email will be sent to the customer with an estimated quote on the value of the car. If they choose to proceed with the trade-in, TCEC will arrange for a member from Tan Chong's used-car arm MUV to visit the customer to confirm the value of the vehicle.
Yes, certain steps like signing of loan documents may still require a physical presence but TCEC is working on slowly digitising every step and are hopeful that they will reach their goal by the third quarter of this year.
Subscribing to a Renault is very much the same although subscribers are not required to apply for a loan. All they need to do is provide TCEC with their personal details and documents, make the refundable security deposit and first month payment.
After which, subscribers can view their monthly invoices and receipts via the E-Store.
When asked how well the E-Store has done so far CEO Wong Hoe Mun states: “Well, we just started on 1 Feb 2020, and we are currently in the education stage. Having said that, we have about 50% of our retail sales and 80% of our Subscription sign-ups from our E-Store channel. We believe this will continue to increase in coming months.”
As for the Renault Subscription, Wong is pleasantly surprised with the popularity as they have already recorded over 700 subscribers since its launch late last year.
“We are very proud of being the first OEM to launch Subscription in Malaysia. We believe that the auto-industry in Malaysia is ripe for disruption. I believe that Renault already has great products available – good level of safety, expressive designs and lots of tech and functionality.”
To further give a taste of the Renault Subscription plan to those who are still sceptical, TCEC even introduced a 7-day Subscription Trial package for RM 399 where customers are allowed to subscribe to a Renault Captur for 7 days.
There isn’t a time in memory that doesn’t involve staring at cars. After discovering the excitement of watching Schumacher vs Hakkinen, Formula 1 became a major part of life. The love for cars and F1 ultimately led to a job with CAR Magazine. The untimely death of the magazine meant a hiatus from cars at lifestyle women’s magazine Marie Claire before another opportunity came knocking again.