Across the passenger, two-wheeler and commercial vehicle segments, nearly half of dealers are using digital media to reach out to prospective buyers, according to the JD Power 2018 India Dealer Satisfaction with Automotive Manufacturers Index study, released on Thursday. Earlier, JD Power’s 2017 India Sales Satisfaction Index study had shown that during the past five years, vehicle owners who are 30 years or younger have been using traditional outlets far less often as their information source—with declines in TV ownership (45% in 2012 versus 24% in 2017) and newspapers/magazines (53% in 2012 versus 20% in 2017). Shopping online for a vehicle had increased by 28 percentage points (28% in 2012 versus 56% in 2017) during the same period.
“Shoppers, particularly in the younger age bracket, are using the internet as their chosen channel to search for product specifications, pricing and promotional offers, reviews and evaluations,” said Shantanu Nandi Majumdar, regional director, Automotive Practice, JD Power Singapore. “This consumer preference demonstrates how crucial it is for dealers—with the support of OEMs—to develop a digital strategy to enhance interaction with potential buyers.”
The study finds that 60% of PV dealerships expect that more new-car buyers will purchase vehicles online instead of from traditional dealer showrooms. “PV dealers are not only interacting digitally with customers and offering test drives at home, but also working alongside OEMs to bring the digital showroom into their customers’ homes,” added Majumdar.