Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar, and Audi India’s Google Search trends
For most folks in India, mentioning a luxury sedan would be a reference to the German trio: Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. But that list is in fact a thing of the past, as the triad has over time grown to a quartet of luxury automakers with Jaguar-Land Rover brand (now a Tata Motors owned company) joining the list.
Statistics and research makes India a young country, and that demographic is interesting when looked at from the point of purchase. A report from 2011 shows India’s rich list is one of the youngest globally with an average age of 27 year olds taking interest in sports cars in the Indian luxury car market. No doubt then the increasing number of rich Indians, especially young gen is being strategically targeted by luxury car companies online. Internet influences are increasingly playing a small and important role in decision making.
Google Search trends provides an insight to level of interest luxury automakers attract among a new segment of progressives. To keep the potential group interested, car manufacturers bring in new cars, offer an exciting brand experience and innovative retail programmes. The German trio in India compete with each other aggressively when it comes to getting buyers to their own brands. In terms of online search, BMW and Mercedes-Benz India have spent much of the year entwined, occasionally nudging ahead of the other to maintain status quo with an aggressive online presence that attracts substantial brand and product related queries on Google search. Currently, Audi A3 search queries are on the rise. Google search for Jaguar vehicles has surpassed that of Audi India, pushing the Ingolstadt based automaker to fourth spot.
So, while Audi sales through the start of 2014 sees it triumph over Mercedes-Benz, it remains a distant fourth in terms of queries on Google search through 2014. BMW in India was most searched for at the start of 2014 but that interest dwindled to its lowest point in May. Mercedes-Benz played second fiddle in this context through January to March, but did surge ahead through April and May to report it’s lowest search performance in June, having steadily upped its pace since.
Growing interest in smaller cities and towns has already ensured automakers open dealerships across the country as opposed to in big cities and metros which seem stagnant at times. With smaller regions being vital with most number of searches emerging from these areas, surely, luxury car makers are keeping an eye. Thiruvananthapuram, Ludhiana, Vadodara, Ernakulum, and Surat contributed to most search queries for Mercedes-Benz. Audi on the other hand generate interest in bigger cities like New Delhi, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai and Hyderabad with no small city in its top search contributor list. Clearly, Audi struggles to attract search interest from smaller cities, and rules the metros.
Ludhiana leads search interest for BMW among smaller cities including Coimbatore, Surat, Pune, Bhubaneswar, and Chandigarh. Jaguar’s response online comes from Coimbatore, Chinchwad (near Pune), Chennai, Bangalore, New Delhi and Noida. With about 32,000 units sold in 2013, luxury car sales in 2014 is expected to increase. Whether or not that number reaches 50,000 is left to be seen.