In a landmark initiative to organize the online auto media space, seven of the most influential, independent auto media entities in India have come together, and officially announced the formation of The Federation of Auto Scribes of the Electronic Realm or FASTER today. The definitive body representing the most credible and influential names in the online auto media space comprises publications namely CarBlogIndia, GaadiFy, Gaadiwaadi, GearFliQ, ICN (India Car News), MotorBeam and Motoroids.
FASTER has been constituted to bring together the most credible online auto content outlets together, and leverage the synergies to ensure that their collective audience benefits from the most accurate, fact-checked content. FASTER will ensure that the content published on its constituent platforms is monitored rigorously for quality, dependability and best editorial practices.
In addition to providing an organized representation to quality online auto media, FASTER will also recognize the standout products and personalities in the auto domain. Towards this end, FASTER Auto Awards have been constituted to felicitate the best products, services, individuals and initiatives relating to the auto industry. The first iteration of FASTER Awards will be held in the month of March 2021.
“Online auto media has been instrumental in informing and influencing the educated, savvy auto enthusiast and buyer for nearly two decades now. An overwhelming majority of auto-related media is consumed online. It’s unfortunate then, that despite its industriousness and wide influence, the online auto media community hasn’t represented itself in a formal, organized manner, commensurate with its contribution to the industry. FASTER has been constituted to provide them the right representation, and to differentiate the high-quality, credible auto media outlets from the opportunistic misinformation mongers. Going forward, we envision FASTER reaching out to, and including many more quality auto media outlets under its aegis”, said Amit Chhangani, founding member and Chairman at FASTER.
As a platform representing online auto media outlets, FASTER also strives to act as a two-way communication medium between the industry and consumers. To facilitate that, FASTER will work towards bringing to the fore all the pertinent issues with regards to consumers, industry and policy to provide a strong voice to everyone for the greater good.
Besides unifying the leading online auto media outlets, FASTER will also work towards nurturing a lively community of auto enthusiasts and thought leaders under its banner and will facilitate events and activities which promote and create awareness about road safety. FASTER will also strive towards encouraging innovation and providing various platforms for auto lovers to come together and celebrate motoring in the forms and flavours that appeal to them.
FASTER comprises auto media entities wholly owned by career motoring journalists who place objective, unbiased reportage as a matter of paramount importance. Together, the seven publications comprising FASTER hold sway over a wide majority of the young, discerning, savvy, Indian auto media audience. The combined monthly reach of the seven publications by a conservative estimate is over 150 million users.
Quotes from founding members
“Traditionally, vehicle buying decisions in India were largely made based on users’ experience and word of mouth. Over the years, however, the penetration of digital media has made gathering information and making a buying decision much easier, though it has also exposed the buyer to misinformation and falsities. FASTER has taken the responsibility to collectively reach out to the ever-growing online audience with quality auto journalism, that brings them dependable information and advice”, said Narendra Sharma, founding member and Secretary at FASTER.
“The increasingly prevalent unreliable news sources have made it difficult to segregate dependable, fact-checked reportage from rumors and fake news. FASTER is determined to step in and carry out the daunting, yet crucial task of recognizing and guiding the best and brightest online publications in the auto domain that users can depend on” said Faisal Khan, founding member and Treasurer at FASTER.
“Digital has transformed the face of the automobile media, as today most car buyers rely primarily on online publications to gather pretty much all the information. While digital technology has paved the way for a more democratized and accessible medium, it has also brought new challenges before us, with the credibility of information/news being the biggest of them. FASTER is an attempt to build a platform that represents responsible automobile publications in the online space.” said Vikas Yogi, a founding member of FASTER.
“Digital media has emerged as the preferred medium of information consumption over the past decade. As per the Google-Kantar TNS study of 2018, 96% of car buyers in India use Google Search during their purchase journey. It increases the responsibility of reputed auto publications like ours to provide our readers with the most accurate, comprehensive, and clear information that can help them make an informed decision with confidence. FASTER reflects our strong commitment to quality content and reliable information.” said Rohit Khurana, one of the founding members of FASTER.
“Over the past decade, there has been a very clear shift in trend from print to digital, influencing new reading habits. The pandemic has paved way for new practices with online car sales being the method of preference. The convenience factor it brings is another reason showing the tilt towards all things digital. Online auto media plays an integral role in this transition and helps hundreds of millions of automobile buyers by providing quality automotive content to make an informed decision. And thus we feel the vital need of a digital automotive media association which can help us strive towards our goal of providing the most dependable content going into the future”, said Gaurav Yadav, one of the founding members at FASTER.
“In today’s challenging times, driven by freely available social media tools and no entry barriers, credible online motoring journalists who are seriously invested in the profession need proper representation. As the line between responsible auto journalism and opportunistic falsities gets increasingly blurred, FASTER aims to be the definitive body to help both the auto industry and consumers differentiate between responsible auto media and speculative misinformation mongers”, said Gagan Choudhary, one of the founding members at FASTER.