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Hatchbacks most favoured by customers; Maruti & Hyundai lead auto category: CarDekho

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MUMBAI: The Indian consumer is now more discerning than ever before. Even when bombarded with options galore, consumers today know exactly what they want. And this can well be seen in the findings of a recent report released by Indian online automobile marketplace CarDekho.

The report on online search patterns of the Indian consumers compared to actual in-market sales of cars during the festive season showed that when it comes to cars, hatchbacks were the most preferred customer choice, figuring in consideration sets for nearly 47 per cent consumer with their actual demand clocking in 48 per cent of the overall figure. The sedan category also saw consideration (26 per cent) and demand (25 per cent) nearly at par with one another.

On the other hand, Maruti and Hyundai occupied the top slots in the hatchback as well as the sedan segment, with Honda also marking prominent presence in the latter category.

The report, which is based on CarDekho’s platform traffic as well as Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data, focused on various car categories such as hatchback, MUV, Sedan, SUV and Compact SUV/MUV to present a comprehensive statistical picture of the user consideration versus actual demand.

Compact SUV/MUV section saw a high consideration per centage (17 per cent) due to the buzz effect surrounding the new category launch. However, the actual demand for the segment was only 10 per cent, which could be attributed to the relative unfamiliarity of the Indian public with the category. MUVs, on the other hand, resulted in a much higher actual demand (12 per cent) than consideration, which stood at a mere two per cent.

GirnarSoft CMO LK Gupta said, “The October-November festive season is a time when Indian consumers wield their financial clout to buy things that they have shortlisted over the year. As such, this report provides a valuable insight into the shopping trends during this busy period. These insights will help car manufacturers to better understand the dynamics of consideration sets that buyers go into the market with, and how they change through the purchase process. The report also helps us as an auto portal to improve upon our existing services and shape our product offerings to be more in sync with the consumer preferences.”

CarDekho’s report also highlighted the importance of price and value-for-money proposition for the Indian consumers. Amongst hatchbacks, Hyundai’s Elite i20 saw nearly 17 per cent user consideration; however, the actual conversion stood only at nine per cent. In comparison, its Grand i10 model, priced nearly Rs 2 lakh lower, managed to record 11 per cent demand despite a measly four per cent consideration. The Alto also recorded 18 per cent actual demand as compared to eight per cent consideration owing to its lower price and Maruti’s brand value. Similarly for the Sedan category, Dzire’s actual demand (37 per cent) far eclipsed its consideration (16 per cent), while the case was reversed for Honda City, which saw 20 per cent consideration, but only 11 per cent actual demand.

However, while price was an important factor that drove transactions, performance and features were also given due consideration. In the Compact SUV/MUV category, both the consideration (14 per cent) and actual conversion (12 per cent) for Maruti’s S-Cross was much lower comparatively to Hyundai’s Creta (32 per cent consideration and 28 per cent actual) despite a lower price. This was attributed to more attractive features offered by Creta as compared to S-Cross.

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