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Friday, August 27, 2010

Idea: Custom build cars like Dell?

This idea was conceived in June 2010, during Tata Nano customer Meet in Mumbai, (Taj President Hotel, Cuf Parade). One gentleman, a senior executive with TCS was eager to buy a Nano for his daughter, provided it has airbag. His concern for safety is understandable, but a set of airbags (driver and passenger) costs $600 onward onwards and hence not a feasible option to include in a cost conscious car like Nano.

However, what came to my mind on that spot is why not some car makers play a  Dell? Give customers an option to pick what they want and package the car accordingly. I am not sure how feasible the idea is, because for car makers (or even real estate builders), its all about volume. Any customization would mean more cost. But then, same logic would have held good for laptops and Dell has proved that business model of letting customer customize his laptop is practical and viable. So why not the same for our cars?

We might have liked individual features/options in each cars, but one single car is unlikely to possess all qualities/features of your choice. Why not give customer an option to select his preferred set of options and features?

I’m submitting this idea to the Indiblogger MY DEMAND Contest. Not sure of my chances as I do not like to participate in contests that need me to mobilize traffic to some other site in the name of securing a vote. Also HP is the sponsor for the contest while this post treats their arch rival Dell as a role model…

Now, back to the idea/demand, this is how the Tata Motors customization screen would look, if Tata were to allow its customers to customize cars. (built using Google docs for demo purpose only) Let me know if you like this idea and if you feel this is viable as a business concept. Try  customizing your car


Be advised that customization options do exist. Expensive cars like Fiat 500 are custom built after you place an order and local mechanics can do lot of customization post purchase, but customization options from a car manufacturer for normal cars are almost non existent…Imagine the potential of such a possibility!


If some car maker wants to copy my idea and implement, feel free...

6 comments :

Namratha said...

Nice idea. I'd like to add the seat/dashboard colors and material (definitely NOT leather) :D

Sankara Subramanian C said...

I like the idea. Though, this customization is available with most car dealers. Most of these are accessories today though.

But, I am not sure if one can replicate the exact laptop concept into an automobile. A laptop is assembled using various independent components, but in an automobile, the components are dependent on each other.

But, definitely a good idea overall.

Vinayak said...

awesome post
nicely written

I am from indiblogger… i saw that you are taking part in the Indiblogger contest. I am thinking of a vote exchange. You vote for me, I vote for you. Just vote for me here http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=30036 and after that send me a mail vini.nagu@gmail.com and I will vote for you. Both are getting benefited, right?

So, tell me what do you think?

Mohan said...

Interesting... btw., have you thought about the durability and stability of such custom integrated cars in the long run? In my view that is the most important aspect wrt selecting a car components. Ofcourse, good start to think on those lines though!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Oops, didn't reply to comments in this post?

Namratha:
hmm, yes, interiors should be a focus area

Sankara
Yes, to dependency factors can be verified automatically or manually before accepting a customized order

Vinayak

I usually stay away from you scratch me back, I'll scratch your kind of deals

Mohan

Stability and durability can be verified by appropriate tests and trials. Not a strong reasoning to kill the concept.

Karthik Jain H J said...

I custom built my desktop, I like the idea of custom built car. I would prefer custom built car mixing and matching the parts different car manufacturers. Is it possible..?