Tips & TricksHow YouTube is shaping Indian Car buyer’s decision

Akshay Chandra4 years ago

According to ThinkWithGoogle research, “The average car shopper today makes just two dealership visits in the search for the perfect vehicle.”

But does this situation apply to India?

Today, India’s auto sector is among the top 10 automotive markets in the world and is poised to grow as income levels continue to increase and finance becomes easily available. Just to give an estimate, the Indian automotive industry is estimated to be about USD 93 billion, at the end of FY 2015-16 and contributes 7.1% to India’s overall GDP (nearly 49% of the country’s manufacturing GDP).

Effect of Demonetization –

After the scrappage of notes of denominations INR 1,000 and INR 500, the Indian car market is sure to bear the brunt of demonetization. But only for the people who use a circuitous route to put black money on cars and other automobiles.

Pre-owned cars; which usually have a black money component may face a shortage of this money and can push the demand down, and therefore prices. As there is no restriction on banking transactions, sale/purchases of new cars may continue at present prices. Thus, Buyers diction on pricing factor gets eliminated to some extent.

Micro-moments of Indian car buyer –

According to, buyers in India are getting younger and buying cars early in their careers. There is a second car in every household, and the rate keeps going higher. Thus, the buying behavior changes drastically in India when compared to Google’s micro-moments for cars and automobiles.

Here is our way of measuring the micro-moments keeping Indian buyers in mind.

Which-car-is-best moments
  • High emotional attachment
  • Online search

This is the first stage where the buyer searches for probable brands. For a country like India, brand representation in the society is the first thought for most of the high-end automobile buyers. Google search plays a vital role in the selection process; where, the buyer can measure a different set of brands.

Is-it-right-for-me moments
  • Expert reviews
  • Demand features

Watching an expert review, which gives you a first-hand look of what you are going to buy; increases the probability of purchasing the product. According to Google, more than 70% of online audiences tend to buy the car after knowing everything about the product and brand on YouTube.

So we shortlisted most viewed automobile based YouTube channels based in India. These are the YouTube channels that have helped thousands of car buyers in India.

autocar-indiaAUTOCAR INDIA
Viewership – 113,006,364
Subscribers – 323,671

Autocar is a weekly Indian automobile magazine and is regarded as “The World’s oldest car magazine” (1895). The Indian version of this brand got more than 1186 videos in their channels library with a review of every possible car that came out in India.

Viewership – 55,664,520
Subscribers – 136,209

Overdrive is India’s largest auto media for the bike & car community for last 18 years. On their YouTube channel, you will get in-depth reviews of the hottest wheels, helpful tips, step-by-step guides and expert advice. The show is now broadcasted on CNBC TV18, CNBC Awaaz, and CNN-IBN.

Viewership – 63,106,830
Subscribers – 274,858

They give a neutral opinion on the car reviews. The video edits and the music are something that will keep you glued to all their reviews and it’s the best when it comes to the visual treat when compared to its Indian counterparts.

Viewership – 38,995,863
Subscribers – 92,527

This is an Indian automotive, web-portal which uploads car and bike related news, reviews and road test comparisons on their YouTube channel.

Viewership – 29,207,738
Subscribers – 105,966

This YouTube channel got an extensive catalog of cars that are currently on sale in India; complete with details about variants, expert reviews, test drive reviews, bike test drive videos and user reviews. Their website provides fresh deals and ex-showroom prices in various cities across the country with insurance & finance options, and other lucrative offers.

indian-drivesIndian Drives
Viewership – 20,707,534
Subscribers – 26,162

This is one of the few Indian automobile YouTube channels with “Supercar Corner” with extended reviews, news, feature videos on Aston Martin, Porsche, Ferrari, Bugatti, and Lamborghini cars including all Indian brands.

Viewership – 17,293,916
Subscribers – 74,268

If you love car comparison, then this is your channel. CARDEKHO got comparison videos on premium cars, SUV/MUV, luxury cars, popular cars, and Superbikes.

Viewership – 12,424,409
Subscribers – 40,821

This channel gets you the best auto information experience possible. Check out the biggest ensemble of video reviews, unbiased comparisons, walk-throughs, auto tips by experts and all that’s driving the auto world.

These eight Indian cars YouTube channels generate more than 340 million-plus viewership with more than 9 thousand uploaded videos. It’s probably enough to cover every car brand ever manufactured in India.

Can-I-afford-it moments

After the decision process, the customer now decides whether to buy a product or not. In the Indian scenario, the buyer doesn’t mind exceeding their budget if it adds to their social image. It is a question of perceived value versus affordability.

Where-should-I-buy-it moments

Even as the majority of the car shopping process moves online through review websites and YouTube channels like mentioned above, the visit to the nearby car dealership remains a crucial step in the journey. There are thousands of car dealers available, in every corner of India, but still, the dealer being closest to the potential buyer’s home continues to be the most influential reason for dealer selection.

Am-I-getting-a-deal moments
  • Festive seasons

The festive seasons in India are when people buy new cars. According to, reports have shown that an automobile sale of the top ten passenger vehicle makers touched 2,74,615 units, up 21% from a year ago, at the time of Diwali, Eid, and Christmas. All the decisions buyers make at this point in time is a collective virtue of previous moments of thought.

Apart from expert reviews and walkthrough, brand integration with celebrities and artists is another way to utilize YouTube’s wide demographic reach. Here are the two highly successful examples automobile campaigns that created a benchmark for innovation through video platform in India.

Drive Mein Junoon

In order to celebrate the success of its premium hatchback, the Elite i20; Hyundai created a video advertisement using ‘car sounds’ generated by the wipers, hand brake, indicator, seat belt, doors, windows and engine of the Elite i20.

With the collaboration of Arijit Singh and Clinton Cerejo, the YouTube video generated more than 11 million views and reached 9 million viewership milestone in the first month itself.

#TheWinnersWay – Project X

This ad features musical maestros namely AR Rahman, Shubha Mudgal, Amit Trivedi with background music composed by Ranjit Barot and Salim Merchant. The Mercedes-Benz Project X was put together in a collaboration between brand’s media agency MEC India and online broadcast network called Qyuki.

The video generated more than 1 million views on YouTube and was released at the 13th Auto Expo where Mercedes unveiled the global SUV, GLC, and the S-Class Cabriolet.

Both examples we mentioned here were trying to improve or strengthen their brand presence using YouTube as their medium.

This is the way YouTube search is helping to shape Indian car buyer’s decision and increase the manufacturer’s brand presence among the Indian target audience; especially for international brands like Hyundai, Nissan, Mercedes, and others. Thus, YouTube plays an essential part of customers buying cycle when it comes to automobiles.

Bonus – 

Also, check out our YouTube industry report for more than 15 automobile brands ranking for India. This report ranks overall video views on YouTube, with a list of most active Indian and international brands on YouTube’s platform with their video statistics and insights.

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Akshay Chandra

Being an artist, movie buff and a media enthusiast, content writing is my career train. I am a proud alumni of Symbiosis Institute of Media Communication (Pune) and currently working for Vidooly.

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