‘The Brand Trust Report, India Study 2012’, complied by Brand Trust Advisory found the country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki as the most trusted automotive brand in India.
Hardly surprising considering the company makes extremely reliable cars and backs it up with an extensive and high-quality service network. It sold over a million cars last year.
But the rest of the ranking had a few rather big surprises. The second-biggest car maker in India, Hyundai Motors does not feature in the Top 10 list. Neither does Tata Motors, the third biggest car maker. Tata’s absence from the list could be explained by questionable after sales service and inconsistent build quality but Hyundai falling behind Ford and even Skoda is a shocker. The Korean car maker has had one hit after the other: i10, i20 and recently Verna. And it has the second most extensive network amongst carmakers after Maruti.
Instead, Maruti is followed by BMW, Hero Honda, Toyota and Honda on the list. BMW is a surprise entry at No. 2, ahead of top bike maker Hero Honda as it has been around only for a short time and is not a volume seller—it perhaps reflect the aspiration strength of Brand BMW, rather than actual consumer experience with it.
Toyota and Honda take the No. 4 and No. 5 spot with their reliable cars and good service network.
If the Top 5 are anything go by, then the Study’s findings suggest that buyer attitudes take a long a time to change in this category. All Top 5 have been credible players for a long time—though BMW hasn’t been in India for that long. It also suggests having strong image globally contributes to perceptions in India as well.