Even though internet connectivity is not widespread in India, with its huge population, India ranks third when it comes to internet users. India is also ahead of both Europe and US in using the internet to look up auto brands. This information was brought to light by a recent report carried out by Google on search related to automobiles.
According to this report, the auto segment has become one of the fastest growing online searches, with an 84% growth, second only to the telecom industry that grew by 90%. One of the biggest queries was regarding auto purchases, which increased in search by 38% during the first half of 2011 as Indian consumers make the heaviest purchases during the Indian festive season.
According to the research carried out by online search engine Google, 65% of Indian internet users who purchased a car had conducted an auto research online before narrowing on their vehicle. This figure is greater than that of the European and US markets, where 62% of auto buyers carried out an online search before purchasing vehicles.
According to the research from Google, Indian online users used their search engine to compare and find car models, visit auto company websites, gain information on new car launches, compare prices of cars, and get information on used cars as well.
The Google India Auto Industry Report also revealed that online auto search saw a growth of 110% in 2009, and 84% in 2010. This trend even continued into this year, as Google recorded 72% growth from the period of January to May 2011.
The report also compiled a list of the most search auto brands in India, which was led by Maruti. Other brands included Honda, led by Hyundai, GM, Tata Motors, VW, Ford, Toyota and Fiat. In case of two wheeler manufacturers, the leading company was Hero Honda, with Bajaj Auto coming in second, followed by Yamaha and later TVS.
The highest searched for car launches during the eighteen month period were led by Maruti Alto K10, Ford Figo, the next gen Hyundai i10, Maruti Kizashi, followed by Chevrolet Beat and many others. Rounding out the last was again a Maruti car, the Maruti SX4 Diesel.
The report by Google also shed light on the behaviour of consumers online in relation to automobile brands. With the rise in search for auto brands, it is becoming increasingly important for auto brands to develop a strong digital presence on all different types of fronts including mobile, video, social and search.