NEW DELHI: Indian women buying cars are influenced by the image presented by the brand and by the safety and security features on offer, research has shown.

A syndicated study by consulting firm PremonAsia garnered responses from 3,945 women car owners and potential owners across 28 cities in India and explored attitudes around brand image, product performance, sales & delivery process, after-sales service, and cost-of-ownership.

Based on these factors, it created the Women Automotive Buyer Index (WABI), a composite measure of ownership experience. Honda led overall and on product performance and cost of ownership, while Volkswagen ranked highest on brand image. Nissan topped the list for after-sales service and Toyota excelled in sales & delivery.

Honda City, Volkswagen Polo, and Nissan Micra emerged as the three leading models.

The study showed that the top-ranking brands enjoyed strong advocacy and loyalty among women with 70% or more of their owners willing to recommend and repurchase these brands.

“The industry needs to recognize the growing importance of women car buyers without making stereotypical assumptions of their expectations,” said Rajeev Lochan, Founder & CEO of PremonAsia.

“Men buying a car on behalf of a female family member or friend hold the belief that practical aspects like budget, cost of ownership, and fuel efficiency are key choice drivers for women.

“Contradicting this myth, the study reveals that women buyers are more discerning in attaching a significantly higher importance to brand and product elements.”

The research showed that safety, security, and convenience are the key expectations in the features and services women buyers seek in their cars.

These include live tracking car’s service through mobile app, pick & drop facility for car service, security alarm system, 24-hour roadside assistance, rear camera and automatic door closing systems.

javascript:void(0);While a significant number of women have used apps like Ola and Uber, the study added, these suffer from negative perceptions around trust and safety, meaning that women will prefer to have their own vehicle.

Data sourced from PremonAsia; additional content by WARC staff