Cars and their twitter accounts

Every second buyer of a car in India today uses social media–facebook, twitter, official webpages, online portals or the good old google–to research vehicles. So what goes online has a big influence on the final decision. To have a robust presence on the internet then, is perhaps as important today as being visible in the dealerships.

A study of the twitter accounts of various cars in the country gives an interesting and diverse picture. For one, even now not every car has a twitter or facebook account. Some of them are dated old cars like Maruti 800, Hyundai Santro and Chevrolet Spark, which are in the twilight of their careers and hence, being visible in the virtual world does not make any difference. Some like Chevrolet Sail, Honda Brio and Amaze, also dont tweet even though their parent firms are quite active in that space.

Among those that have a fledgling twitter account, the house of Tatas take the cake. The Nano has by far the most number of tweets and the maximum number of followers to its name. And it has such dominance that its number of followers is more than double that of the next one on the list–Mahindra Scorpio.

This should provide some solace to Tata Motors. Even though Nano is not a hit in the real world, its success in the virtual field perhaps suggests people have not lost hope with the brand….entirely.

Given Mahindra’s affinity to social forums exemplified very well by its chairman Anand Mahindra who himself is an active twitteratti and one of the most followed persons on the net, it was no surprise that the company’s two bestselling models Scorpio and Bolero would score high on twitter. What stumped me was the absolute lack of interest in the XUV5OO–a vehicle that was such a rage a few years ago and where social media played a big role. There are merely 50 tweets to XUV’s name and a paltry 136 people interested in it.

Twitter also corroborates a few cliches. For example, it would not have been a wild guess to suggest that the Swift will have more followers than the Alto or that the Safari would draw more people to it than both the Manza sedan or Vista hatchback. The trend here is simple. Swift incites more passion among consumers vis a vis Alto even as the latter remains head and shoulders above it in terms of sales numbers. Its not about business alone…social media is more than that.

And finally, on a lighter note there were a few hilarious anecdotes on twitter as well. Scan the list of people some of these cars themselves follow and it would be one amusing piece. The global twitter account for the Mercedes A class for example follows a car that costs less than half its price and can never be seen as competition–Ford EcoSport. What sort of affinity the two cars have, is beyond me.

Or if you scan through the 621 odd personalities that Nano follows, then between sundry enthusiasts, petrol heads, journalists, portals, car magazines and other Tata cars, one name juts out like a sore thumb…Karan Johar. And mind you, Johar is not a Nano consumer either. Perhaps the car does have an inherent albeit carefully hidden sense of humour.

Car Tweets Followers
Tata Nano 7573 13100
Mahindra Scorpio 1892 6458
Tata Safari 3948 3317
Ford Figo 2427 3191
Mahindra Bolero 881 2827
Toyota Etios 2490 2251
Tata Vista 2903 2130
Tata Manza 3575 1866
Maruti Swift 1489 1677
Maruti Alto K10 2797 1579
Maruti Wagon R 1596 1148
Toyota Fortuner 953 705
Mahindra e2o 398 674
Toyota Liva 1634 477
Maruti Alto 800 1016 368
Mahindra XUV5OO 50 136
Hyundai Eon 1 46
Datsun Go 3 29
Renault Duster 9 2
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