Although price continues to be the most important factor for buyers purchasing new cars and sports utility vehicles (SUVs), each region in India shows a unique pattern of buying behaviour and preferences, according to the J. D. Power Asia Pacific 2011 India Escaped Shopper study released on Monday. According to the study, in North India exterior design and styling is not only the most frequently cited reason for purchase, but also the most frequently cited reason for rejecting a car or SUV. In contrast, new-vehicle shoppers in the West display sensitivity not only to the acquisition cost of the vehicle, but also the running and maintenance cost.
In the South, high price and the opinion of family and friends are the most important reasons for rejection. "The same consumption choices are made for very different reasons among the incredibly diverse regions of India," said Mohit Arora, executive director, J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore. "The often expressive and image-conscious Northerner tends to place greater emphasis on the style quotient of the vehicle. Conversely, purchase consideration for more price- conscious buyers in the South revolves around the utility function of the vehicle," Mohit added.
New-vehicle buyers tap various sources of information before buying the care, the study says. The proportion of new-vehicle buyers who use the advice of friends, relatives or another owner of the same make during the vehicle selection process has increased to 89 per cent in 2011 from 84 per cent in 2010. In contrast, the proportion of new-vehicle buyers who rely on the advice of the dealer salesperson has fallen to 12 per cent in 2011 from 20 per cent in 2008. "The advice of friends and relatives helps to ratify the prospective buyer's perceptions of the brand and provide information about the post-purchase experience, such as overall performance and driving appeal of the car," Arora added.
High price continues to be the reason most cited for vehicle rejection for yet another year, with nearly one-third of shoppers rejecting a model because the price is too high. The study finds that average reported transaction prices have increased by eight per cent in 2011, compared with 2010, with increases occurring across all vehicle segments. In recent years, the proportion of new- vehicle buyers who consider only one model and ultimately purchase it (non-shoppers) has grown steadily. However, new-vehicle buyers who consider more than one model during the purchase process (cross-shoppers) visit dealerships more often. In 2011, 81 per cent of cross-shoppers visited dealerships selling models on their consideration list, compared with 76 per cent in 2010 and only 69 per cent in 2009.
For the seventh consecutive year, Maruti Suzuki performs well in persuading new-vehicle shoppers to purchase the brand, with 40 per cent of them eventually purchasing its model. Buyers of Ford, Hyundai and Volkswagen models tend to shop around the most before purchasing their vehicle. Source Price remains a vital factor for car buyers - Yahoo! India Finance