‘Influence of digital channels in the Indian automotive sector happening at breakneck pace’ reveals a new BCG-CarDekho study

3 out 4 new-car buyers research online prior to buying the car,

around 43% make the final choice online even before their first visit to a dealership

Mumbai, February 28, 2017: India is undergoing a digital transformation, owing to the technological advancements in mobile gadgets and proliferation of wireless data networks. The number of internet users is expected to be around 650 million by 2020, a staggering number, which is forcing various industrial sectors to alter their approach towards marketing and sales. This transformation is distinctly evident in the automotive industry. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) along with India’s leading online car search venture CarDekho, today, released a report titled ‘Digital garage – get ready for the digital ride’ that focuses on the rising influence of online channels in automotive industry.

The report suggests that 3 out of 4 new-car buyers research online prior to buying the car, with around 43 percent making the final decision even before their first visit to any dealership. Almost a quarter of online journeys are long and involved running upto 15 weeks. Further, the report reveals that newer car models see a disproportionately high digital traffic of around 53% in comparison to their market share of around 37%. More than two-thirds of online research is happening on auto aggregator websites. These online portals have seen an approximately 50% growth in sessions in the last 4 years, with mobile gadgets contributing majorly to the growth as compared to desktop devices

Speaking about the key findings of the report, Sharad Verma, Partner & Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group, India said, “Digital is fundamentally re-imagining the consumer journey for auto segment. 75% of car buyers are already researching online and 40% of them consider internet to be their most important source of information for selecting which car to buy. This is going to increase further as consumers become more mature on internet. The plethora of consumer data which this is generating presents very interesting innovation opportunities to auto players”.

“The study clearly demonstrates the increasing role of digital in a car buyers’ journey. It is heartening to note that these trends are not limited to metros alone. Category B and C towns are also throwing up these trends. To respond to changing consumer habits and needs, the OEMs and dealers would do well to quickly adapt and put in place affirmative strategies and action plans to reach out to a present day car buyer” said Nalin Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer – New Cars, CarDekho.

A key finding of the report is around the extent of differences in digital activity observed across geographies. Tier 1 cities like Jaipur, Chandigarh, Indore exhibit digital activity levels similar to metros like Bangalore and Hyderabad. Even beyond that, micro-markets in the same city are at very different levels of digital maturity, highlighting the need for a geo-local marketing strategy.

The report draws out implications for auto OEMs to win in this digital world. Enhancing digital platforms, designing an integrated online-offline experience of a customer, personalized targeting by effectively leveraging data, developing extremely localised marketing strategies are among the key implications for OEMs.

We are hereby writing to see if you would be keen to discuss this further with Sharad Verma, Partner and Director, BCG India, and Nalin Kapoor, COO – New Cars at CarDekho, who have co-authored the report. They will be willing to share further insights about the findings of this report and the expanding scenario of digital channels in the automotive market. We can facilitate a one-on-one conversation at mutual convenience.

Report Methodology:

The findings in the report are based on big data analytics on ‘CarDekho’ platform data, a survey covering around 1200 respondents pan India and past proprietary researches conducted by BCG and CarDekho.

About The Boston Consulting Group:

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 85 offices in 48 countries.

About CarDekho.com:

GirnarSoft, the parent company of CarDekho.com, is a leading auto-technology company catering to the entire auto ecosystem. It is the #1 destination for auto research and lead generation/ management in India with monthly page views of over 100 mn (across CarDekho.com, Gaadi.com and ZigWheels.com) and more than 30 mn visitors. CarDekho has been voted ‘the website of the year’ in the automotive category for 5 years. GirnarSoft has partnered with leading auto OEMs, financial institutions, and over 5000 new and used auto dealers to enable seamless access across auto research, comparison, finance, transaction, and ownership. In 2015, GirnarSoft went international under the brand name “CarBay”, covering various countries in South Asia.

GirnarSoft is backed by leading investors including Sequoia Capital, Tybourne Capital, Hillhouse Capital, HDFC Bank, Google Capital, Times Internet and Mr. Ratan Tata. For more details, please visit www.CarDekho.com or www.girnarsoft.com.

Please find attached the report.

BCG-Car Dekho_Final_low res for distribution