Turtle Wax is a name familiar to those obsessed with keeping their cars looking showroom-fresh even years after they’ve purchased them. Products from the US-based car care firm were so far available only at select outlets, but now, Turtle Wax has announced its official India entry, and will offer an extensive range of car care products via existing detailers and accessory stores, as well as online.

Having been in the car care business for well over seven decades, Turtle Wax finally decided to make a full-fledged India entry in 2020, noticing buyers’ shift to more expensive vehicles as well as a rise in demand for car care over the last four to five years.

Speaking to Autocar India editor, Hormazd Sorabjee, during the #LiveWithAutocar Instagram chat, Sajan Murali Puravangara, country manager and director, Turtle Wax India, said, “India is a fast-growing automotive market, but car care has only really grown in the last four to five years, which hadn’t happened earlier. People are graduating to high-end cars, and we think car care is going to be the next sunshine category in the auto segment. There’s clearly an opportunity here, and the market is going to grow multifold. Turtle Wax has always entered countries with a long-term investment plan, and it’s the case for India as well.”

Coming soon: a disinfectant from Turtle Wax

One commodity that will be in high demand going forward, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is a disinfectant. So, Turtle Wax is already readying its own disinfectant that won’t damage any exterior or interior trim and fittings, unlike a regular alcohol-based sanitiser that could potentially harm these elements over a period of prolonged use.

“We’re finalising our cleaner and disinfectant product; it will be environment-friendly, and we’ll mention the kind of viruses it can eliminate and the kind of surfaces it can disinfect. We’re three to six months away from the introduction of this product,” confirmed Puravangara.

Do-it-for-me more popular than do-it-yourself in India

Vehicle owners in India want their cars to be in top shape, but don’t necessarily want to spend their own time working on them, and that’s a trend Turtle Wax aims to capitalise on – while also building the culture of car care, which isn’t widely prevalent in the country at present.

“What we’ve noticed is a growth in the DIFM (do-it-for-me) segment. People have graduated to bigger cars, want their cars to look nice and preserved, but they don’t want to spend time working on it themselves. At present, volumes may be low, but the value of car care is high. Globally, we’re a do-it-yourself, enthusiast-driven brand, and people love our easy-to-use products. So, while we’ll focus on the DIFM segment, we’ll also be trying to drive and grow the car care culture in India,” said Puravangara.

Working with detailers and accessory outlets

Turtle Wax is now offering a whole host of car care products – including items for exterior and interior care – but won’t be setting up a retail chain of its own. Instead, the company will focus on strengthening its reach across the country with the help of existing accessory and detailing stores, while also making its wares available for sale online.

“We’re looking at branded loyalty detail stores. Somebody who wants to set up a new store, we will give them the brand identity and training, so it’ll be a Turtle Wax-branded loyalty store. We won’t be coming up with our own stores – we want to enable existing Indian detailers to be the best. Distribution is a big challenge in India, and we’re adopting a retail model – we want to be the most distributed brand in the car care category. We want to make sure we have a consistent distribution plan and we’ve got distributors all across the country, from Assam to Trivandrum. Having presence across online platforms is important, but you can’t omit the traditional retail channel because I think it will bounce back in 6 months after the pandemic goes away. I don’t think car care will transform into an online business.”

To mark its India entry, Turtle Wax is offering a car care product bundle, which includes a snow foam car wash, interior cleaner, inside and out protectant wax, a seal-and-shine exterior wax, a travel spray and the Clearvue rain repellent. The bundle is priced at Rs 3,799 and is available online on Amazon, with a 10 percent discount as an introductory offer.

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