INDIA REVEALS ITS CHANGING ‘COMFORT ZONES’

Research commissioned by Citroën India highlights the changing nature and sources of comfort
Report will define the meaning of “Comfort” for Indians based on age, gender and the impact of the on-going pandemic
Findings of the research are based on 1,801 interviews conducted across 10 cities in India; the fieldwork was conducted by Innovative Research Services, Mumbai

Comfort is an inherent part of everyday life and the same has been revealed in a new research commissioned by Citroën India on where and how Indians seek comfort. Citroën India’s ‘Comfortology’ research revealed some fascinating insights to Indians’ comfort levels at varied stages, with larger weightage to mobility. The findings also reveals impact of pandemic on people’s perception and definition of comfort. The research was conducted across 10 cities in India with total of 1801 respondents from diverse ages and genders.

One of the key data, which shows inextricable link between comfort and travel, particularly by road, and Indians’ experience of the same includes:

19% of respondents described their drive to work as ‘the most uncomfortable hour of their day’ because of pot-holes and jerks, etc.
29% of respondents admitted that the drive to work is so full of noises / honking from outside, that they can barely concentrate on anything
16% of respondents try to call up their friends and try to catch up; but it is very difficult and uncomfortable because of traffic disturbances
49% Indians experience back ache, neck ache and other physical strains, while driving

Mr. Roland Bouchara, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Citroën India, highlights the objective and a key finding from the research, “Comfort – or its absence – represents a defining element of the driving experience; it is also a key consideration for road users and vehicle purchasers. This research provides unique insight into how and where Indians seek comfort, with respect to the daily lives, but also with respect to how they travel. Initial findings, for instance, demonstrate the profound impact the pandemic has had on people’s sense and definition of comfort; 25% respondents would have been most comfortable in a private car for short journeys (up to 3km) prior to the pandemic, a figure that has risen to 34% today. Preference for shared/public transport (buses/trains)) has declined from 28% to just 12% in the same period.”

In automotive world, the element of comfort is synonymous with Citroën. The aspect of the Citroën comfort philosophy encapsulates the ideas of practicality and versatility to make driving and travel easier. The easier a car is to live with every day, the more enjoyable and comfortable it will be to own. For Citroën, functional comfort applies to the combination of highly ergonomic, easy-to-use cabin designs with technology that is intuitive and easy to operate. In the wider automotive sector, technology continues to take on greater prominence in cars; in some cases, to the detriment of user-friendliness. By contrast, Citroën has sought to apply new technology in such a way as to make its cars easier to use, with functionality enhancing comfort. The development of cars that offer maximum ‘living comfort’ is a thread that span’s Citroën’s entire history.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the new Citroën C5 Aircross SUV in India, Mr. Roland Bouchara reinforced the brand’s link and commitment to comfort and explained that comfort – in all its forms – represented a core value of the brand. “Since 1919, Citroën has been at the forefront of automotive comfort, from the revolutionary ‘Moteur Flottant’ [floating engine] to the innovative Suspension with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions®. Citroën’s benchmark in comfort is reflected in the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme, aimed at bringing unprecedented comfort to every passenger. For us, comfort is a principle consideration for the entire driving experience. Our designs and features aim to reduce the mental load on the driver, combining clever driver aids with light, spacious cabin formats. All these elements translate into a stress-free travelling environment, innovative solutions and smart technology dedicated to ensuring the well-being of body and mind for all passengers.”

Citroën India’s ‘Comfortology’ research also revealed some fascinating differences between Indians’ comfort levels; nearly a quarter (23%) find working from home (WFM) ‘extremely comfortable’, while a similar proportion (22%) describe it as quite the opposite (‘extremely uncomfortable’).

In terms of gender, women appeared more comfortable managing the demands of work and home life during confinement than their male counterparts; two thirds (66%) of female respondents were ‘comfortable’ or ‘extremely comfortable’ juggling both responsibilities during COVID-19, compared to just 49% of men.

The findings were published in advance of a detailed report examining the changing nature and sources of comfort in India being published by Citroën India.

Citroën India’s ‘Comfortology’ report will be published, in full, in January 2021.

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