Consumer focus on safety, and demand for more value will shape 2021 strategy
Al-Futtaim Lexus, the exclusive distributor of Lexus in the UAE, is ramping up its customer approach in order to cater to new behavioural norms and higher expectations from automotive customers in 2021.
The global pandemic and lockdown in 2020 catalysed an evolution in consumer behaviour as consumers adjusted to a new contactless way of living and working, including automobile purchases. This resulted in lasting changes in automotive consumers’ priorities and demands, the most pertinent of these being a heightened focus on safety, and demand for more value.
Commenting on how the brand is adapting to the changing consumer for 2021, Saad Abdullah, Lexus Brand Director, said, “It’s been said many times before – 2020 was a year like no other. As the new year begins, it is important for us to reflect on the year gone by to understand what consumers are looking for in a post COVID-19 era and how we can best cater to their evolving needs. While several brands were pushed to quickly develop and implement e-commerce solutions when the pandemic hit, Al-Futtaim Lexus was already ahead of the game, having recognized trends in consumer buying habits early on. The pandemic served both as an accelerator for our plans, and as a quick testing ground for new ideas which will continue into 2021 as we adapt to the new consumer trends. An increased focus on safety, means that brands must act with purpose and responsibility, not just with marketing and sales. The increasing demand for more value will ensure that we are constantly innovating and delivering our best to meet new customer expectations.”
Catering to the customer’s focus on safety, Al-Futtaim Lexus has built safety into the customer experience, offering an online journey that not only allows customers to stay home, but also elevates the customers’ experience pre, during and post purchase. Online services such as vehicle purchase, a vehicle visualizer with 360 views for a fully interactive experience, at-home test drives, and a carefully re-designed website, bring the showroom experience to the customer.
A game-changing partnership with Facebook enabled customers in the UAE to explore the entire Lexus range, customize from body to engine, book a test drive, reserve it and pay a deposit, all through their phones without leaving the Facebook newsfeed. Digital innovation and expansion of home delivery options are a cornerstone of the company’s 2021 strategy.
The heightened focus on safety also impacted the ‘car sharing’ trend that had gained momentum in 2019, with an increasing number of hourly or minute rentals and ride-sharing options. The danger of the pandemic and social distancing norms shifted the emphasis back to personal vehicle ownership, which is likely to stay throughout 2021 or until the threat of the pandemic has passed.
The second major consumer behavioural trend that Lexus predicts is customers’ demand for the best value. Continuing its passion for brave design, imaginative technology and exhilarating performance, Lexus’ retail offering is expected to look very different in 2021. Customers have a lot to look forward to, including new models, brand partnerships and showroom activations that will create amazing experiences for customers and deliver the incremental value that they are looking for in the post-COVID era.
About Al-Futtaim – Lexus
Since its debut in 1989, Lexus has earned a worldwide reputation for high-quality vehicles and exemplary customer service in line with its Japanese ‘omotenashi’ roots – the tradition of anticipatory hospitality. Leader in hybrid technology in the luxury automotive scene, both globally and locally, Lexus offers the largest line-up of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), which boast a number of advantages over traditional powertrains, such as high performance, unmatched fuel efficiency, substantial emissions saving, noise reduction and instantaneous acceleration.
In the UAE, Lexus is distributed by the Al-Futtaim Automotive Group and enjoys a strong network of showrooms and service centres across all seven Emirates.
The Lexus sedan line-up includes IS, ES, ES Hybrid, GS, GS Hybrid, LS and LS Hybrid and the SUV range includes UX, NX, RX and RX Hybrid, GX and LX. While the coupe range features the Lexus RC, LC and LC Hybrid, the F marque, home for Lexus performance vehicles, produces RCF and GSF high-performance cars.
Al-Futtaim Lexus is also home for INTERSECT BY LEXUS, a luxury space at DIFC where guests can enjoy hand-crafted food and drinks, while connecting with like-minded people and enjoying the premium Lexus lifestyle.
About Al-Futtaim Automotive
Al-Futtaim Automotive, one of the main five operating divisions within the UAE-based Al-Futtaim Group of companies, is a conglomerate of motoring-related businesses, franchising some of the world’s most-recognised automotive brands and services.
Operating in 10 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa and empowered by around 9,000 associates, the UAE-headquartered Group’s services span across distribution of new and used vehicles, manufacturing, leasing, and aftersales.
Ranging from passenger cars to SUVs, commercial vehicles, industrial and construction equipment as well as motorbikes and quads, Al-Futtaim Automotive Group offers an integrative customer-centric experience for motorists, fleet operators and contractors alike, and strives to become the leader in tailor-made mobility solutions.
Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim Group today is one of the most diversified and progressive, privately held regional businesses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Structured into five operating divisions; automotive, financial services, real estate, retail and health; employing more than 42,000 employees in more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, we partner with over 200 of the world’s most admired and innovative brands.
Al-Futtaim’s entrepreneurship and relentless customer focus enables the organization to continue to grow and expand; responding to the changing needs of our customers within the societies in which we operate.