Speeding at 18% annual growth, the car category is among the fastest growing sectors in India, second only to China. As a micro-sector, Cars have the highest brand density with 14 entries among the top 300 Brand Trust list and 6 car brands among the first 100 itself.
In his book, Spent, evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller asserts that purchases, especially visible assets like cars, are displays of personality traits, creativity, and even intelligence – maybe some of the reasons why so many cars feature on the top list.
Maruti Suzuki is the 7th most trusted brand in India. The second on the car list, is BMW, the luxury car manufacturer, ranked 33rd in the All India Brand Trust Index. In comparison, some other luxury cars like Mercedes Benz and Audi are ranked 81st and 104th respectively.
Brand Trust in Cars, being such symbolic and emotive elements, cannot be just measured in terms of Outward Appearance, their most visible manifestation. Car owners are known to get into heated arguments over these possessions and it shows how much car brands affect the empathetic aspects, and therefore become emotionally sensitive topics.
While India grows fast in this segment, it yet has among the lowest global penetration in cars, at only 8.5 cars per thousand. Sectors like telecom have benefitted immensely by leapfrogging technologies, and in the car segment too, India is likely to benefit by adopting progressively better technologies developed globally. Despite this, the long-term impacts of growth like pollution, high fuel consumption and the challenge of recycling waste will remain major concerns. To maintain the high aspiration for cars and make them an object of high Brand Trust, the industry and the individual car-makers must take significant and concrete steps at this juncture through the mechanism of Corporate Altruism.