Longer Vehicle Delivery Time Reason for Rejection For Vehicle Buyers in India

Use of Newspapers and Magazines to Make Purchase Decisions Increases among New-Vehicle Buyers

Bengaluru, Karnataka, October 1, 2010 /Washington Bangla Radio - India PRwire/ - A greater proportion of new-vehicle buyers in India rejected a model they initially considered due to a longer wait time for delivery, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2010 India Escaped Shopper (ESS) StudySM released today.

The study, which analyzes the reasons why consumers consider a model but ultimately purchase a different make or model, finds that in 2010 one in 10 customers have rejected a model they initially considered due to a relatively long delivery period, compared with 7 percent in 2009. New-vehicle buyers in India have also reported a high level of dissatisfaction with vehicle delivery timing issues, same as the level of dissatisfaction with the deal.

"The passenger-vehicle market in India has experienced a strong increase in 2010 from relatively low demand levels in 2009, which has caught manufacturers and their component suppliers by surprise as they scramble to increase production," said Mohit Arora, executive director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific. "The disparity between the automotive industry's expected growth rate and higher-than-expected demand is the likely reason for the increased proportion of customers who have to wait for the vehicle of their choice."

The study also finds that vehicle buyers are increasingly relying on newspapers and magazines as a source of information to make their purchase decision-up to 53 percent in 2010 from 43 percent in 2008. This is significantly higher than the influence of television and the Internet, which have also increased during the past few years. However, advice of friends and relatives still continues to be the dominant source of information-influencing nearly 80 percent of new-vehicle buyers in India-and notably fewer buyers accept recommendations provided by dealer salespersons.

"Vehicle buyers in India are becoming savvier and are willing to put effort into seeking information from unbiased sources to make purchase decisions," said Arora. "In particular, increasing availability of special automotive editions from leading daily newspapers has made it easier and more convenient for vehicle buyers to find this kind of information."

The study also finds that buyers of recently launched vehicle models in India are more inclined to evaluate at least one other new-vehicle model while shopping, compared with buyers of existing models that have been on the market for two or more years.

"Vehicles launched in the Indian market during the past year have been positioned as products that are affordable yet attractively styled," said Arora. "As a result, buyers of these recently launched vehicles have rejected other models mostly on these grounds. On the other hand, buyers of existing models tend to be more conservative in their outlook and rely on the advice of their friends and relatives. Therefore, these buyers are more likely to have already decided on the make and model prior to purchase."

In terms of rejection reasons, the study finds that price continues to be the most-frequently cited reason for vehicle rejection, with nearly one-third of shoppers rejecting a model because the price was too high. Exterior styling is the reason cited next most often for rejection.

For a sixth consecutive year, Maruti Suzuki performs particularly well in persuading shoppers to purchase the brand, with 36 percent of all shoppers eventually purchasing a Maruti Suzuki model. Buyers of Chevrolet, Fiat and Hyundai models tend to shop around the most before purchasing their vehicles, while Mahindra and Toyota buyers are least likely to consider another model during the shopping process.

The 2010 India ESS Study is based on responses of 6,178 buyers and 1,851 rejecters of new cars and utility vehicles who purchased their vehicles between September 2009 and April 2010. The study was fielded from March to June 2010.