Google finds auto purchase queries on Internet growing faster in India today, than travel or finance
Moneylife Digital Team 09 August 2011

For the Internet search company, this is more advertising revenue in the auto segment, which grew by 150% in 2010

Indian auto buyers are increasingly relying on the Internet to help them make their auto purchase decisions, which has resulted in the auto vertical growing faster than the hitherto more-frequented travel, consumer electronics and finance verticals.

According to a report by Google India on the auto sector in the country today, Indian consumers have gone ahead of the US and Europe in using the Internet. While only 62% of would-be vehicle owners in the developed countries did their preliminary search on the Internet, in India it was around 65%, this despite the fact that only around 10% of Indians actually use the Internet.

The auto vertical on Google Search has registered tremendous growth in online searches by 110% in 2009 and 84% in 2010 on Google Search. The fast growth has continued this year, with the auto category showing a 72% increase in searches in the first six months of 2011 over the same period last year.

For Google, this is more advertising and more revenue. Rajan Anandan, vice-president and managing director of Google India, said, "In the last two years, we've seen great traction amongst the players in the auto vertical as they continue to embrace digital advertising to engage car and bike shoppers online. We have seen over 150% growth in revenues from the auto sector in 2010 and we expect the share of auto advertising spends on digital to grow significantly in the next few years."

The report which is a compilation of consumer search behaviour specifically in the auto category (cars and bikes) in 2009 and 2010, reveals that 49% of all auto-related queries on Google were vehicle shopping queries.

Entry and mid-segment cars in the price range of (Rs2 lakh to Rs6 lakh) were en the most searched. Diesel cars, which are big in demand, registered triple-digit growth in 2010. Search queries for diesel cars grew by 52% in April to May 2011 when petrol prices were hiked by Rs5/litre. SUVs were the second-most searched car category, followed by luxury cars, which is the fastest growing car category. Search queries for bikes saw a more than 96% increase in query volumes in 2010.

The online search behaviour of consumers mirrors the offline world. For, there has been a 38% increase in the volume of queries in the second half of the year over that in the first half. Indian consumers tend to make auto purchases during the festive season (2009 to 2010).

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