Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2003
New Products & Services
3M launches car detailing in Mumbai
Mumbai , Sept. 16
3M India launched its car detailing services in Mumbai on Tuesday, and said that they would shortly be available nationally.
There are currently 100 car detailing centres in the country, and 3M plans to add 100 more for a presence in the 20 largest towns by the end of the year.
Designed to provide beauty and protection for the car and value for the owner, the company is convinced of the potential for the services, according to Mr Lee M. Kennedy, Managing Director.
The programme consists of more than 32 individual 3M products, which are all imported, and 3M trained and certified applicators who provide the treatments at all leading car dealers and franchisees.
The services were launched globally seven years ago, and were test marketed in Chennai and Bangalore last year, after the initiative was well received in the rest of Asia.
In India, the programme was tweaked to suit the harsher climate conditions, and to provide greater value for money, said Mr Arun Gopal, Manager (Marketing), AAD Car Care Division, 3M India.
The programme was then launched in Chennai and Bangalore, after which it was taken to Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh and Rajasthan. Now, the services are available in Pune, Mumbai, Nashik, Goa and Gujarat.
"There is clearly a need for this programme, as car owners are willing to spend more on post-purchase value added services," Mr Gopal said. "From a basic Maruti 800 to higher-end cars, the treatments help the owner maintain and protect the car over a longer time."
The programme provides a range of treatments based on the age, condition and make of the car.
These include exterior treatments, interior treatments, anti-corrosion treatments and engine rejuvenation treatments to improve mileage and reduce exhaust emissions.
The packages are priced at Rs 6,000 upwards.
"The car has become an emotional product, not just a means to get from point A to point B, so owners don't mind spending money on its upkeep," said auto designer Mr Dilip Chhabria, who was also present at the launch.
"Also, the cost of ownership and operating a car is higher here, so there is a need to maintain cars over a longer period."
The car care industry in India is highly fragmented, with a number of individuals and companies offering treatments in various forms, but not as a total solutions provider, Mr Gopal said.
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