Rediff.com – the global online service major, has recently conducted a research on the Indian automobile industry, from the users’ perspective. The India Online Auto User Trends 2004 – the first of its kind online research to ascertain consumer behaviour and preference for automobiles amongst Internet users in India. “Results of this research demonstrate that for more and more Indians, Internet is emerging as a crucial medium of information, evaluation and inducement for high-value purchases like car,” said Ajit Balakrishnan, Chairman and CEO, Rediff.com.
The research, conducted in association with Chetana’s Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, covered a sample size of 30,000 online users spread across 500 cities and towns in India, of which 8,841 entries were considered valid.
The survey has found a close correlation between cars to be bought in the near future and cars test-driven. As per the results, 39% are test driven from Segment ‘C’ and 37% from Segment ‘B’, while the future cars for ‘C’ is 40% and for ‘B’ it is 35%. The study also found that future test drive trends indicate that respondents are more inclined to test drive cars of ‘C’. Interestingly, 53% of Internet users are going to change their car once in a year. Internet users are also motivated by hassle-free, quality driving experience more than price and styling.
The survey found that 28% of the respondents had clicked on car ad banners on the Internet; 6% were highly induced to buy their car of choice after clicking on the ad; and 16% found the information useful. Further, 31% of the respondents said that Internet was the most trusted source of information.
Among individual models, the Alto, from the Maruti Udyog stable, was the most researched car on the Internet with 40% of prospective buyers clicking on online ads. It is closely followed by Zen, Optra and Eesteem with 36% each.
The research found that while 53% were planning to buy a car in the next one year, 63% wanted to change their cars in the next three years. Segment ‘B’ cars were found dominant across all income groups, while cars in ‘C’ category were most favoured for future purchase.
“The response was overwhelming and we have succeeded in our endeavour to inform and at the same time spread awareness on auto-marketing on the Internet in India,” said Arvindra Kanwal, Vice-President, Online Media Sales, Rediff.com.