Car portals set for 100% growth
THE FINANCIAL EXPRESS
Mumbai May 03 2008: Growth in the number of auto manufacturers in the country and subsequently the new models that will hit the road anytime soon are expected to help online car portals grow 100% in 2008, over and above the 13.5-lakh hits report a month now.
“Online car portals provide an opportunity to compare products across the segment and since people believe more on third party portals vis-à-vis company websites, the segment has seen a huge growth over the last few years,” says Mohit Dubey, CEO, Carwale.com, adding that, with several new models lined up for launch this year, the industry is expected to grow by over 100% in terms of hits.
The company witnessed 100% growth in revenue in the fourth quarter of the last financial year and expects to triple it in 2008-09 by innovative methods like suggesting the right product and even helping customers in getting car loans. Agrees Pankaj Patel, vice-president, Carazoo.com, “Today’s buyers are too short of time to visit the showrooms of various companies to check out models within a segment. Instead, they prefer to research online for detailed technical specifications, prices availability of finance for all models present in a segment of choice.”
“Lately, Internet has emerged as a method of brand communication as well as brand differentiation. So, top manufacturers across the industry are advertising on the car portals to generate sales enquires,” adds Patel.
According to an industry estimate, around 40,000 people visit the online car portals each day and during peak days, the number goes up to 50,000. With disposable income on the rise, the number of car buyers is going up by 12-15% each years, and this means a good growth for online car portals, keeping in mind the fact that a mare 3% of the total online visitors translate into a visit to dealer showrooms in a month.
“Over time, the Internet has matured and now around 35% of visitors on the Internet are researchers. This has translated into a good number of car researchers as people can now access the Internet as per their conveniences,” says an industry expert.