Indian auto firms could sell a million more cars, thanks to mobile phones

Driven by the internet.
Driven by the internet.
Image: AP Photo/Chris Carlson
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Mobile phones will soon be influencing automobile sales in India.

By 2022, nearly four in five Indians looking to buy new cars are expected to be influenced by marketing via mobile phones, a report by KPMG and Facebook (pdf) has found. Such marketing will also influence 66% of the country’s two-wheeler buyers by then.

“This growth is expected to be driven on the back of organic penetration of internet, social media, and digital technologies over the next five years,” the July 2018 report said. In the world’s second-largest smartphone market, internet penetration is set to climb up rapidly to 677 million users by 2022, up from 420 million in 2017, according to the report.

Usually, a lack of knowledge, information overload, and scarcity of resources are among reasons that can cause “friction” while purchasing a vehicle, the report said. This leads to dropouts, as in the customer decides against a purchase, resulting in a potential loss of revenue for vehicle makers. Mobile marketing could reduce this friction by 1.2% for four-wheelers, letting brands tap into about a million-units sales opportunity, the KPMG-Facebook report predicts. For two-wheelers, the friction could go down by 1.6%, allowing firms to tap into 2.6 million-units sales opportunity.