Mumbai: At least half the car buyers in India first do online research before visiting a dealership and 54% of those who do change their brand consideration set after the online research, according to an offline study conducted by Google India and Nielsen. Releasing the key finding of the study at a press briefing, Rajan Anandan, managing director and vice president, sales and operations, Google India Pvt Ltd, said the research this time was completely different from the earlier study it had conducted in September 2011, since it was done offline involving direct interaction with the consumers. The aim of the research was “to see how the internet has impacted consumers’ buying behavior.”
According to Nielsen, the auto vertical was the fastest growing segment for queries having grown 70% year on year in 2011, beating the travel sector which grew 40%. In terms of query volume growth SUVs were the fastest growing car segment at 83% year on year compared to hatchbacks, which grew at 53% year on year. The study also revealed that 72% of online users named websites of car-makers as the most important and trustworthy source of information.
Google also released a ‘Top 10’ list of most searched new car launches in 2011, and Hyundai Eon topped the list followed by Mahindra XUV 500 and Honda Brio. The results for the most searched new cars of 2011 were based on query volumes for 13 weeks around the launch of the car.
The study, across eight metros in the country covered seven car brands: Maruti, Tata Motors, Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Honda and VW and extended to 234 dealerships sampling 2791 respondents.
Top 10 most searched new car launches in 2011 :
1. Hyundai Eon
2. Mahindra XUV 500
3. Honda Brio
4. Tata Manza
5. Maruti Kizashi
6. Toyota Liva
7. Hyundai Verna
8. Nissan Sunny
9. Skoda Rapid
10. Ford Fiesta