Brands adapt consumer
insights, category surges
New models combine style and affordability
The automobile category experienced a dynamic year, with passenger vehicle sales growing 9.2 percent, exceeding three million for the first time, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. Several Indian brands introduced models with contemporary design that more closely matched the aspirations and budgets of Indian consumers.
While customers for entry-level cars sought good functionality and a low price, shoppers for mid-market cars desired a combination of performance, style, and price that—until recently—has been available primarily from multinationals.
Indian brands succeeded not only because of what they did right—understanding the local consumer—but also because of what some multinationals did wrong—compete with global models, not sufficiently modified to meet Indian needs and tastes.
These results reveal how the car category, evolving with the needs of the Indian consumer, has added complexity to a formerly limited segmentation of small cars, usually hatchbacks, along with sedans, and luxury cars.
When Indians purchased their first car in the past, they chose a basic car at an entry-level price point. Today, even some first-time buyers expect more style and features, may be willing to stretch a bit to get something more than a utility vehicle.