Young guns power car sales in India

Young guns power car sales in India

Author | Source: The Economic Times | Saturday, May 20,2006 7:17 AM

Young guns power car sales in India

They are twenty-something, mobile and raring to go. And they are powering India's fourth-gear run in car sales. According to data from automotive research firm TNS, the largest chunk of car buyers in India fall in the 26-30 years age bracket. This demographic comprises 20.6% of car owners in India.

When clubbed with another younger and more restless age group, those on the right side of 25, the segment commands just under half the total cars sold in India. The under-25-year-olds comprise 15.6% of all car owners, substantially higher than the pushing-40 age groups in the car market.

According to the data, 31-35 year-olds comprise 17.4% of car owners, while the 36-40 year-olds command 14%. The share tapers off beyond 40 with 41-45 year-olds commanding 11%, 46-55 year-olds accounting for 12.7% and the abov-56 age group, just 7%.

Auto industry experts say a large part of the under-30 demographic in the car market is powered by bike upgraders. Speaking to ET, Chris Bonsi, regional director, TNS said, “Many two-wheeler owners are students and when they get their first job - may be at a call centre -the EMIs make it affordable to go in for a B-segment model. Then they get a better job and upgrade. That's how the demand cycle builds up.”

According to TNS data, about 14% of the motorcycle owners typically upgrade to four-wheelers. Of course, the percentage is higher in the more expensive bikes segment - 22% of the high-premium bike owners, for instance, upgrade to cars, while 18% of cruiser bike owners and 15% each of executive and premium bike owners expressed an intension to buy a car in the TNS survey.

The young car owners also contribute substantially to the 37% first time car buyers in the market. The first timers are, understandably, a majority in the entry compact segment (M800) comprising 56% of the pie. In diesel small cars, 37% are first time owners while in the premium compact category 35% are first time car buyers. In SUVs and MPVs, the first-timer share is 27%.

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