A recent Accenture report on the automotive industry sought the views of car buyers across eight countries – India, China, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Brazil and the United States. That report tracks the behaviour of car buyers in the digital age, and in fact, managed to bust some traditional myths about car buying.
It is interesting to see what car buyers rank as their top preferences when it comes to the digital car buying experience. Here are five of those big preferences of car buyers in India as seen in the Accenture report.
Most Indian buyers prefer compact cars
While the sales trends point to a huge growth in the SUV and luxury car market in India (17 per cent and 30 per cent according to Industry reports), the Accenture survey found that from its sample of about 1,000 Indian buyers about 41 per cent drove compact cars, 24 per cent drove mid-size or premium hatchbacks and only 5 per cent were SUV drivers. Although the hatchback market may not be growing that fast, it ties in pretty well with the number of hatchbacks sold – the Maruti Alto and Wagon-R together clocking close to 35,000 cars every month, far more than all the entire SUV market put together.
Most Indian buyers prefer online sites for car advice
Most Indian car buyers prefer to get their car advice from online automotive sites and magazine sites, with 53 per cent saying they are influenced by these sites. An almost equal number, or 52 per cent, also seek advice from friends, family and colleagues. Motor shows, TV reviews and car manufacturer advertisements don’t really cut it with buyers that much, showing that increasingly buyers now get all the information they want from quick access digital sources and sources they trust.
Most Indian buyers compare car models online
The reason more people are seeking to go online and do their car shopping is because of the ease of comparing models, rather than having to go from showroom to showroom. Nearly 70 per cent of those surveyed said that comparison shopping functionality would help make the process of researching for a new car via online sites easier. The other big draw on websites was the ability to see a virtual demo of the car (67 per cent opted for this), while another 60 per cent said they found tailor-made information or car advice a big draw.
Most Indian buyers prefer higher discounts on insurance
Most buyers are looking for incentives during the car ownership period as well, and one of the biggest incentives they are looking for is on car insurance. When asked what special offers buyers would want after they have bought a car, nearly 72 per cent of respondents said they would prefer a discount on insurance premiums, while 64 per cent would want a reminder service for annual service and also a pick-up and drop facility for service, while about 52 per cent were looking for discounts on fuel.
Most Indian buyers want after sales service to become more tech savvy
While the buying experience among most Indian car buyers has a fairly good digital component to it, most buyers are disappointed with the level of digitalization in after sales. About 21 per cent of all buyers said they found after sales digital experience to be the weakest link, while another 20 per cent said the pricing of add-ons and accessories online was fairly weak. Strangely, nearly 17 per cent said that online finance options were one of the weakest links as well.