web2.0 auto portals in India: mee too syndrome…

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eb2.0 & Automotive portals? wow..!!! As a passionate automobile enthusiast and a firm Web.20 believer, it represents the best of both worlds for me.

I have been following the auto portal scene in India from the late 90’s and have seen them evolve, stagnate and fade away. Have witnessed portals such as indiacar.com, cybeersteering.com, bsmotoring.com come and stagnate in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

When ‘AutoMartIndia‘ (now called ‘FirstChoice‘) was launched in early 2000’s, as an automobile enthusiast I was excited as it represented a paradigm shift in the way Indians bought & sold ‘used cars‘. In fact, the term ‘used cars’ came into existence — at least in India after that only. Previously ‘used cars’ were always referred to as ‘second hand‘ cars.

In the last one year or so, I have been very impressed by carwale.com. The way these folks have approached about building an auto portal is simply great. They put in one feature at a time, must have analyzed user behavior to ensure that it was working spot on, and then built on the simple web2.0 premises of usability & simplicity tied together and anticipating user needs. Once you looked at carwale.com, you realized — why the hell did other auto portals not think of it? This is exactly what I as a user wants.!! Features like used car prices to the granular level of models/city and mileage are a great boon to users. carwale perfected this with tapping into it’s user base to come up with city/model specific indicative pricing for used cars. There are a number of other features that one can go on and on about the value proposition that carwale.com provides — both to end user(car buyer) and car sellers (individuals & used car dealers).

Of late numerous auto portals that are replicas of carwale.com have come up. In my opinion, while this is testimony to the fact that carwale.com is successful and good, is also resulting in mee-too auto portals‘ whose value proposition is exactly same as that of carwale.com. While this can also be termed as expansion of market, this leads to stifling of innovation & new business models. These mee-too auto portals are doing exactly what the auto portals of late 90’s did — copy each other.

Don’t believe me: Just look at the home pages of three different auto portals(carwale.com, carazoo.com, driveinside.com). It would be very hard for a user to distinguish one from another.


3 thoughts on “web2.0 auto portals in India: mee too syndrome…

    Elroy said:
    June 16, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    wow , I like it

    New Cars In India said:
    September 18, 2008 at 8:36 am

    Take a look at the new cars in India portal called CarDekho.com homepage and its is most different of all these look alikes.

    chicky said:
    September 18, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Great article. Clearly goes on to tell how the market is created and with competition how look alikes mushroom each carving its own niche. What will distinguish all of them is the innovation and business model. Its going to be an interesting watch to see the auto car market in India emerge. CarWale.com is indeed a leader with all the others trying to follow and make it up to it. But the fact is CarWale is not the oldest ! it was launched only in 2005 before that existed indiacar.com and couple of others. india car.com was the dominating player in those times. The market emerged so many people invested and built auto sites – at end of it i think its the consumers who end up gaining. The latest of the launches have been gaadi.com and http://www.CarDekho.com/ – I believe that there is space for everyone in this field. Each offers its own unique points. And innovations and new models emerge as the competition stiffens. Finally the consumer wins. Gets better information and better deals. There is no one winner its the idea and innovation that wins and consumers stand to gain.

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