Indian Automobile Industry
Social Media Case Study
Automobile Industry in India is seeing the best growth rate possible. As of 2009, India is home
to 40 million passenger vehicles and more than 2.6 million cars were sold in India in 2009 (an
increase of 26%), making the country the second fastest growing automobile market in the
world. (Source: Wikipedia)
With automobile brands going social, the communication has become more transparent than
ever. From customer support to brand promotions, companies are using various strategies to
win the hearts of their customers and acquire new customers in the social media space. The
war is then about which brand is more socially active than the other.
The study was designed to review and understand the social media presence of automobile
majors in India. The brands were picked according to their popularity and were then observed
for their social media presence. The brands considered for the study are Maruti Suzuki,
Volkswagen, Bajaj Autos, Toyota, Ford, Yamaha, Chevrolet, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Mahindra
Renault, Fiat, BMW, TVS, Nissan, Royal Enfield, Hyundai, Audi and Mitsubishi. Only the brands
with some presence in social media space were considered for the analysis.
Howare big brands using Social Media Globally?
Channels are defined as social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. The
number of social profiles of a brand is interpreted as their number of channels.
Engagement Level is calculated by studying how a brand engages with its network on different
Based on the observations and calculations, all major automobile brands can be classified as
Examples of Some ofthe Successful FacebookCampaigns by Automobile
The biggest global payers such as Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Honda have well defined strategies
for Social Media.
Toyota has understood the importance of social media and engagement. They have an
engaging platform to connect with their customers.
Sharing and Engaging is the success mantra of any social media strategy: Toyota has hit the
right chord with their Auto-Biography campaign.
Honda has been using innovative campaigns to promote itself on the social media space and
keep the interaction level high through continuous engagement.
While the interactionlevelof mostcompaniesseemstobe highonFacebook,theydon’tseemtobe
leveragingTwitterthatwell.Inmostcases,Twitterisseen asa platformforannouncementorone sided
communications.A completeSocial Mediastrategyisone where all the social mediaprofile are usednot
One such example isthe Twitterpage forToyotaandHonda. While ToyotaisusingTwittertoengage,
Honda isusingitjust forannouncement.
Automobile Brands in India and Social Media
Owingtothe fact that Social Mediaisstill atits infancy,notmanyautomobile brandshave started
leveragingsocial mediatotheiradvantage.A handful hasstartedusingFacebookandTwitterbuttheir
The two wheelermajors suchas HeroHonda and TVSdo not evenhave aprofile page tostart with. Bajaj
Pulsarand ScootyPepPlushave active Facbook pageswithgames andstories asmode of engagement
respectively.It’squitedisappointingasthe targetmarketfor most of these brands isthe internetsavvy
people whocommunicate abouteverythingunderthe suninsocial mediacommunities.
Accordingto social mediaprofilesobservedof automobile brandsinIndia,theyare classifiedas givenin
the graph below:
Social Engagement Graphs for Automobile in India
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
No of Channels
Howusers are communicating about brands in Twitter
Table for Automobile Social MediaReach in India
Automobile Companies Channels Social Grades
Maruti Suzuki 19 4.8
Volkswagen 6 4.4
Bajaj Autos 4 4.0
Toyota 11 3.8
Ford 5 3.7
Yamaha 7 3.5
Chevrolet 3 3.3
Honda 4 2.9
Mercedes-Benz 3 2.7
Mahindra Renault 6 2.5
Fiat 4 2.4
BMW 4 2.2
TVS 3 2.2
Nissan 3 1.9
Royal Enfield 2 1.8
Hyundai 2 1.5
Audi 3 1.5
Mitsubishi 2 1.0
Eventhoughautomobile industrycatertoa market whichisactive insocial mediaandvaluespeer
recommendation,mostof the automobilebrandsinIndiahave notstartedusingsocial media.Some of
the brands thathave startedusingsocial mediahave notgot theirstrategiesright.
Global namessuchas Toyota and Hondain Indiaare still tocatch upwiththeirUS counterparts.Tata
beingone of the largestsellingcarbrandsinIndiahas almostzerosocial mediapresence. The highest
sellingcarinIndia, Maruti Altodoesn’thave asocial mediapresence.The automobile brandshave along
wayto go and theyneedtotreat social mediadifferentthanthe regularmedia/advertisement
platforms.Notonlydotheyneedtobe presentinsocial communities,theyneedtostartListening.
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