The study also suggested that SUVs were in vogue and 1 in 4 new-vehicle buyers considered purchasing an SUV model
For the first time in more than a decade, concerns about vehicle fuel economy and acceleration have overtaken exterior and interior styling as the most influential reasons shoppers reject certain car models. Good fuel efficiency is the most influential reason when deciding which vehicle to purchase. This year, 13 per cent of new-vehicle buyers cite this as the most influential purchase reason, closely followed by vehicle performance (12 per cent) and latest technology features (10 per cent). A study conducted by J.D. Power called the 2018 India Escaped Shopper Study brought forth these findings.
Of course vehicle price continues to be the most cited reason for ultimately rejecting a model that was initially being considered, shoppers are increasingly rejecting models in favour of others due to better fuel economy, the desire for specific features or options and better acceleration, with 17 per cent of shoppers rejecting for these reasons in 2018 compared with 10 per cent in 2017.
The study also showed that a larger portion of new-vehicle buyers used the internet to search for vehicle information (54 per cent in 2018 as compared to 50 per cent in 2017). Recommendations from friends and family continue to be a key source for information, with 66 per cent of new-vehicle buyers relying on this source to decide which make and model to purchase.
The study also suggested that SUVs were in vogue and 1 in 4 new-vehicle buyers considered purchasing an SUV model, making it the most considered vehicle segment in India, surpassing the premium compact and compact segments.
Shantanu Majumdar, Regional Director, Automotive Practice at J.D. Power said, “Although fuel efficiency has always been top-of-mind for car owners in India, this has been heightened by recent increases in fuel prices and competition among vehicle manufacturers positioning fuel economy as a unique selling proposition. While most newly launched vehicles score highly on styling, buyers in India are increasingly selecting or rejecting vehicles based on other attributes like performance, feature content, practicality of usage and vehicle warranty period. Manufacturers, therefore, need to ensure that they match product offerings to their customers’ purchase reasons.”