Volvo XC 40 Recharge joins the Metaverse movement


Even though the Volvo XC 40 Recharge drops from the cover today, it will be the first for an automaker to launch the vehicle exclusively on Metaverse, which is gaining popularity as a destination for new vehicle launches.

Recently, Maruti Suzuki, MG Motors, Mahindra and public sector company Union Bank of India have set up virtual customer experience zones to attract young shoppers who are increasing their consumption of digital content.

So what makes Metaverse tick? The Metaverse is theoretically the future of the Internet, a 3D virtual world where people will be able to interact using sensors, lenses and other gadgets with non-fungible tokens, commonly known as NFTs, which have done a lot of noise since their introduction into the market.

“The Metaverse is the perfect gateway for millennials to fade into life vicariously through avatars, as a sort of escape from the mundane boring living in your twin life with an increased sense of freedom with a feeling of liberation,” says the marketing and brand management expert. Harish Bijoor who runs his Bengaluru-based consulting firm Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.

According to Timmy Ghiurau, chief innovation officer at Volvo Cars, Virtual Experience, Metaverse is a cocktail of XR (extended reality), VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality). “You have to make it interesting for the younger generation who maybe don’t watch TV, have ad blockers on YouTube and some ads never reach them. You have to find new ways to make it interactive and interesting for them .”

After the launch, the XC40 Recharge will begin Volvo’s new journey in the country as the first luxury electric vehicles to be assembled at their Hosakote factory in Bangalore. This car has two electric motors with a combined output of 408 horsepower and 660 Nm of torque. Moreover, it has a 78 kWh lithium-ion battery that can cover a distance of 400 kilometers per charge and can be recharged in just 40 minutes according to Jyoti Malhotra, Managing Director of Volvo Car India.

Globally, more Gen Z and Uber millennials are logging on to Metaverse to virtually drive exotic and iconic cars, and travel to faraway destinations with automakers following them in pursuit.

Nissan has unveiled the Nissan Sakura electric mini-vehicle in the virtual world offering its aficionados the opportunity to test drive the Sakura on the Nissan Sakura Driving Island. Ferrari has created a division that will capitalize on the opportunities offered by the virtual world. Mercedes-Benz also launched the G-Class in the Metaverse.

Project Lamborghinis NFT: Space-Time Memory a series of five NFUltimategraphs of a Lamborghini Ultimae depicting the car flying to the stars fetched $659.63 at Sotheby’s auction in less than 75 hours and 50 minutes at a recent auction. auction

To add more, BMW’s technology allows its customers to build and drive a car through VR and 4k technologies. Not to be outdone, Hyundai has upped the ante under the “Hyundai Mobility Adventure” concept offering customers a chance to be entertained with five “theme parks allowing users to see the latest motorsport technology from Hyundai and the Smart Tech Campus, where users can act as virtual engineers.

As Volvo’s Ghiurau says. the idea is to find a way to put people inside the car without them being physically there.

Higher budgets

Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director, Maruti Suzuki, whose company had two consecutive launches first with the Brezza so what Grand Vitara says his time on Metaverse began in 2018 as part of the Mobility & Automation Innovation Lab introducing a “One Foot Showroom” to dealerships. He has now augmented this with Virtual Reality and Artificial Reality on his website. Srivastava says his company has budgets with plans to add 10-15% of its technology upgrade expenses, which roughly translates to Rs 6-8 crores to create the second phase of the immersive Metaverse experience.

“Maruti’s Metaverse Part II will allow customers to virtually interact with a sales representative, take a test drive of the vehicle, configure your own vehicle from the comfort of their home, without visiting a dealership,” Srivastava said. .

So, in the future, will dealerships lose their relevance? “For us, it will always be Phygital (physical + digital) with the deal to be made at the dealership level, because he is the owner of the customer relationship. Metaverse is just a tool to bring the brand closer to the customer” , did he declare. adds.

To build more excitement, Maruti plans to add usable and tradable Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), just like Mahindra & Mahindra did to ramp up the excitement with the introduction of the Thar lane in March.

The Thar NFT that Mahindra posted on Metaverse brought in Rs 26 lakhs which was donated to “Nanhi Kali” which supports the education of underprivileged girls in India Mahindra commenting on the success of Thar NFT said: “Overwhelming response to selling at auction, which means it’s almost as expensive as buying the real #Thar!But that makes sense since the NFT is truly one of a kind.

As Born Electric’s launches draw closer, Mahindra is ready to throw the game to unleash its next models into the digital space, giving customers “a chance to experience our range of SUVs virtually long before they are physically launched to expand brand value in a space that looks sorted for the future,” as a senior M&M executive put it.

MG Motors India, as part of its MG Verse, is also following Toyota’s lead, where Toyota employees globally can use avatars to participate in corporate events and meetings. Gaurav Gupta Commercial Director of MG Motors says that the MG Verse, apart from the regular bells and whistles of NFT tokens and display galleries and racetracks for its customers, also has an MG Knowledge Center which offers to its employees and partners opportunities to develop and participate. virtual training sessions, conferences, meetings, etc.

“Metaverse is a technology that will enable various social and financial interactions in a 3D virtual world,” said Arun Krishnamurthi, MD and CEO of Axiscades Technologies in a previous interaction with Professional coach.

On the possibility of automakers partnering with banks and offering options for financing and even buying cars, there is still some time to go as the RBI has restricted the use of KYCs on Metaverse. Banks and automakers are both in a wait-and-see mode before embarking on payment-centric transactions and solutions, which is definitely the next step in customer engagement.

Read also
Metaverse is expected to boost luxury car sales
Volvo Car India announces local assembly of XC40 Recharge, launching in July


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