Maruti continues to be the most desired car brand

Vuclip, the world’s largest independent mobile video destination unveiled the findings of its mobile surveys on the four wheeler purchasing forecast and brand sentiments in India. The findings were revealed during ad:tech Bangalore 2012, held on September 27 at Sheraton in Bangalore.

Vuclip’s Vice President and Head of Advertising, APAC and Middle East, Meera Chopra, was a panelist on “Integrated Video Planning” where she spoke about how multi-screen viewing is fast catching up with Indian consumers and the positive uptake of mobile advertising among Indian brands.

Both the surveys were administered and delivered through Vuclip’s mobile site, m.vuclip.com, for duration of eight days each.

Buying Behaviour
The purchasing forecast survey included responses from as many as 1,84,786 mobile phone users from India with 68% respondents being males. The survey, which ran on 5-13 September 2012, found that 37% of the mobile respondents plan to buy a new car within 6 months, while 54% of all respondents plan to buy it in the next one year. 48% of the respondents indicated that they have a purchase budget of under Rs.7,00,000, while 28% had a budget of Rs.7,00,000-15,00,000. This indicates a huge opportunity for the small and mid segment car manufacturers to influence the purchase decision of these prospective buyers by aligning their product launches to consumers’ preferences. Surprisingly, 39% of all women respondents had a budget of over Rs.10,00,000 compared to only 31% of all men having a similar budget to buy a car. Cost was the leading priority in four wheeler purchase decisions for 15% of the respondents, followed by value, brand, engine and looks for 12% each of all the respondents. Safety was the priority for 11% of the respondents while 9% preferred comfort and service plan. Features mattered most to 8% of all respondents. Though, cost remained the priority for men (17%), more women looked for value for money (13%) when making a car purchase decision. A lesser percentage of 12% of all women cited cost as the key factor, at par with similar percent of women respondents choosing brand, engine/power, style/looks and comfort.

Brand Affinity
The brand sentiment survey took into account responses from 1,09,242 mobile users from India on Vuclip with 67% respondents being males. According to the findings of brand sentiment survey, served between 9 and 17 September 2012, one in four respondents (24%) claimed to own a Maruti, double its nearest competitor, Hyundai. Even among most desired car brands, Maruti emerged as the top choice for 21% of the respondents in India, while there was a tough competition between Hyundai and Honda with 14% and 11% votes as the desired brand respectively. Toyota, Ford and Tata were the most desired brands for 9% each of all respondents.

Current Versus Desired
Interestingly, in the current versus desired brand comparison, Hyundai and Ford registered a growth of two percentage points each as the desired brand as against the current number of owners of these brands. Honda, Chevrolet, Toyota, and TATA gained one percentage point as desired brands as against their existing ownership patterns, while for Mahindra, the existing versus desired brand percentage remained unchanged.

Luxury Brand Perception
In the upscale luxury car segment, BMW was the preferred choice for both men and women, with 29% overall votes, though men (32%) seemed to like it much more than women (21%). The black horse in the race for the second most preferred luxury car brand in India came out to be Bentley (10%), followed by Audi (9%) and Mercedes Benz (9%) which left behind the usual suspects, Jaguar (8%) and Rolls Royce (8%).

The fight for the second spot in luxury car brand perceptions was more pronounced based on gender – while after BMW, Bentley was the clear choice for women (13%), men gave equal weight to Bentley, Mercedes Benz and Audi (9% each), followed closely by Jaguar and Rolls Royce (8% each).

Meera Chopra, Vuclip’s Vice President and Head of Advertising, APAC and Middle East, said “The findings of our surveys reveal major indicators on car purchase decisions and brand preferences in India. It is amazing to see how mobile is transforming into a productivity tool, empowering you with almost instant access to such mass-scale insights from real users. How else can you activate feedback from 1-2,00,000 respondents in just over a week to tap market sentiments? With more than 14 million active users in India alone, our surveys also offer deep demographic insights on the purchase behaviours and preferences of men and women that could help advertisers, marketers and content aggregators to generate tailored content as per the need of their target audience through hyper-local, rich and engaging campaigns that help raise purchase intent.”

Commenting on the survey findings, Sunila Dhar (DGM (Media & Marketing) MSIL), said “Maruti has always been referred to as the car of the nation and we take pride in designing our cars keeping in mind consumers changing needs and preferences – a car for every need. We are happy to see that Maruti is trending on mobiles too and are confident that Vuclip’s wide reach and vast network will help brand marketers to get a pulse of what consumers want and design products accordingly”.

“As product innovation and differentiation takes foreground, it has become essential for brands to re-orient their brand engagements to pave way into the customer’s cluttered mind. Mobile serves as a perfect platform for brand marketers to reach out to a wide audience in a short timeframe and Vuclip’s technology coupled with its data insights enables these marketers to devise a novel strategy to connect and engage with their consumers”, said Avinash Singh (Media Manager, Maruti Suzuki India Limited).

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