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Opportunities and Threats Faced by the Indian Auto Accessory Market Changing consumer behaviour and car manufacturers' business models pose certain threats to the industry but also present a myriad of opportunities for it to grow

By Puneet Arora

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In the past one decade, Indian auto-accessory market has grown manifold. Rising interest of car owners in modifying and upgrading their cars with the latest high-tech accessories has lead to a spurt in the number of car accessories players in the market.

However, changing consumer behaviour and car manufacturer's business models pose certain threats to the industry. But that's not all, a myriad of opportunities also lie ahead that will help the sector to grow further.

Talking of threats, more and more car manufacturers are now offering pre-loaded accessories to customers. This move helps them gain more profits and expand customer base. But what gets missed out is that these manufacturers charge much higher prices for very few basic accessories that they provide. Car owners can easily get the same set of accessories at much lower prices in the auto accessories market.

Another threat is the growing need of customers. Rapidly changing aspirations and requirements of modern customers, driven by emerging technologies and global new launches, are making it difficult for companies to keep pace. Modern customer is well-educated and carries out proper research before buying any car accessory. Demand for design, look, style and material these days is completely different from how it was a decade back. Their requirements are quite versatile in nature. Though such expectations and demands nudge the industry to bring in innovation, they pose threat to the sales and growth of Indian auto accessory market.

Finally, the ever changing government rules and regulations create a lot of tension in the auto accessory market. Recently, the government put a ban on the usage of sun films citing safety reasons. The ban of one accessory creates potential impact on other accessories as well. Auto accessories industry has to bear the brunt of the unpredictable government rules and regulations.

On the other hand, auto accessory market also has a plethora of opportunities ahead to enhance their portfolio, reach and profits.

The first and foremost opportunity is the online market. In the last couple of years, customers from every industry are shifting to online world. By catering to online buyers, auto accessories players can reach out to millions of potential customers on a daily basis without making much effort. By creating an excellent e-commerce website along with a rich catalogue of products, auto accessories players can easily enhance their sales and profits by working increasing their online presence.

The second potential opportunity is pre-owned car market. With the arrival of pre-owned car market, a lot of buyers are moving towards auto accessories after-market to revamp their old car into a new one. Pre-owned car market is booming in India and one can find prominent certified dealers who are offering cars in good conditions with proper warranty and certification. This has resulted in the rise in the sales of pre-owned cars, which directly benefits the auto accessory market. Accessories of those cars that have been discontinued by car manufactures are not sold by the car company. This means that the car owner inevitably has reach out to car accessories after market. In fact, for new cars as well buyers are moving to aftermarket to get a good range at reasonable prices.

Thirdly, modern car owners love to splurge on fancy, branded, high quality and premium range of car exteriors as well as interiors. So, the biggest opportunity for the branded auto accessory car market is to bring a versatile range of products to meet the growing demands of millennials. It is important to read customer's mind and aspirations to transform them into profits. Modern car owners don't mind spending on branded premium car accessories to enhance it's comfort, style and security.

Indian car accessories after-market is no different from any other industry. Despite a few threats looming large, it has many opportunities to grab in order to enhance its profits and growth rate.

Puneet Arora

Founder & CEO of AutoFurnish

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