J D Power Study explores the core pattern of Indian buyers while buying a vehicle

Saturday 29 September 2012, 10:41 AM by

J D Power Asia Pacific 2012 India Escaped Shopper Study revealed that the buyers in Indian auto market are spoilt for choice and are looking forward to buy more than one car. The Indian market welcomes around 30 to 50 new car models every year, which in turn puts the buyers in a state of confusion.

The study states that around 28 per cent of the new vehicle buyers compare more than one model before actually going for their final decision, which was increased from 23 per cent recorded in 2011. In terms of priority in cars, several buyers consider the moniker of Maruti Suzuki in spite of its regular fall in consideration rate from past few years. In contrast, the consideration rates of Mahindra & Mahindra and Toyota have marked a steep rise from 2011, but their sales were not affected in that proportion.

Reportedly, the main criteria of Indian buyers before buying a car lies in its fuel efficiency, which has eventually emerged as a main target of improvement for various car makers. Almost one-third of buyers give their thumbs down to the model they selected initially due to its lower mileage. Following fuel economy, price comes as the second main reason for rejecting a car. However, the study revealed that buyers in 2012 did not paid much attention to the price, under the review of 2011, and rather preferred models according to their cost-of-operation credential.

Interestingly, various options are selected by those buyers who are either going for their second vehicle or having an upgrade from their outdated car. The rate of cross-shopping among buyers who were going for a vehicle for the first time remained flat at 20 per cent.

On this, Executive Director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore, Mohit Arora, quoted, “Repeat buyers tend to shop more than first-time buyers, but this has further increased in 2012 with the launch of several new models in the country. Repeat buyers typically have a greater willingness to experiment with new models that are launched in the market. With the significant increase in new-model launches in 2012, this set of shoppers clearly has a wider range of choices.”

The study conducted in 2012 is based on the responses achieved from 2,721 rejecters and 7,382 buyers of new Utility Vehicles (UVs) and cars, who opted for a new four-wheeler between tenure of September 2011 and April 2012. However, the research was observed from March to July 2012.

Arora further said that second-time vehicle buyers involves largely in the research process and visit dealers as well as take test drives of new models before finally pining their decision to buy a specific model. He said, “The increases in fuel prices during the past year appear to have a significant impact on vehicle shopping preferences and vehicle-buying decisions. Vehicle operating costs are therefore superseding initial acquisition costs in the buying decision process, as shoppers increasingly choose between similar priced vehicles.”

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