Maruti Suzuki India is the most considered nameplate among vehicle shoppers for a ninth consecutive year, with 37 per cent of all shoppers eventually purchasing one of its models, according to the JD Power Asia Pacific 2013 India Escaped Shopper Study (ESS)
New-vehicle buyers who purchase Ford and Fiat models shop around the most before purchasing their vehicle, while buyers of such national brands as Tata, Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki are least likely to consider another model during the shopping process, the survey said.
Overall customer retention among automotive brands has also improved by 2 percentage points to 40 per cent in 2013, compared with 38 per cent in 2012, according to the JD Power. But only three of the eight brands, included in the study have improved their customer retention rates in 2013, compared to last year, while five have declined year over year.
Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki have particularly high customer retention rates among automotive brands in India.
“Customer retention is a function of several factors, including brand image, product range, ownership experience and sustained presence in India,” said said Mohit Arora, executive director, JD Power Asia Pacific.
“Brands that are able to perform well in all of these areas tend to have higher retention rates,” he added.
JD power also surveyed extensively the criteria used by new-vehicle buyers in their shopping process and have found that vehicle buying preference for customers is strikingly different from north to south and east to west in India.
During the past five years, several shifts have occurred among new-vehicle buyers in the various regions of India pertaining to shopping behavior, the ownership experience and how the vehicle is used, the survey said.
A surge of first-time new-vehicle buyers is a regional phenomenon limited to the east and the west regions of India. Nearly 70 per cent of buyers in the West and 57 per cent of buyers in the east are purchasing a new vehicle for the first time.
In contrast, the proportion of first-time new-vehicle buyers has declined over time in the north region and has remained nearly unchanged in the south.
Although attractive design and styling has increasingly become the most influential reason for vehicle selection among buyers in the north region, it has been declining in the south, where new-vehicle buyers frequently state good fuel efficiency as a reason for purchase.
New-vehicle buyers in the