Indian car buyers are increasingly relying on online media to such an extent that more than 50% buyers have changed their brand choice based on the information available in the internet says Google.
According to an AC Nielsen survey conducted on behalf of Google India, the top three searched new car launches in 2011 include Hyundai Eon, Mahindra XUV 500 and the Honda Brio. The other cars that made into the top 10 list include Tata Manza, Maruti Suzuki Kizashi, Toyota Liva, Hyundai Verna, Nissan Sunny, Skoda Rapid and Ford Fiesta.
The survey was carried out offline in car showrooms located across 8 metros and it was found that one in two car buyers had researched online prior to visiting the showrooms. Also, over 50% of buyers change their car brands after knowing the new information available on the web. Interestingly, out of the 50% of the car buyers who rely on the web, 42% people stated that they rely on search engine as first source of information which is only next to the opinions of their friends and relatives which stood at 47%.
Car buyers take 9-12 weeks (average) time researching for cars on the internet before choosing their model. Buyers gather information about cars by researching on expert reviews, user reviews, doing competitive analysis and comparing prices. The survey revealed that Auto was the fastest growing vertical on Google with query volume increasing by 70% in 2011 as against 2010. Also, mobile queries grew by 125% last year and from smart phones, the query volume was a whopping 242%. With regard to query volume growth breakup, SUVs witnessed a massive growth of 83% in 2011 as against 2012 followed by premium segments (82%), sedans (72%), luxury cars (74%) and hatchbacks (53%).