Post lockdown, buying car may become a priority: Survey

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on June 11, 2020 Published on June 11, 2020

Purchasing car – either new or used - is likely to become a priority after the lifting of the national lockdown on the back of a shift in mobility preferences to own vehicle for safety reasons, according to a survey of global consulting firm EY.

EY did a survey across demographic mix of more than 1,100 respondents to capture holistic customer viewpoints amidst the prevailing market conditions on car buying.

About three-fourth of respondents (76 per cent) leaned towards owing their own vehicle and considered it to be a priority purchase post the relaxation of the lockdown.

About 57 per cent of first-time buyers have highlighted that they are likely to buy a pre-owned vehicle, while equal percentage of existing car owners are likely to upgrade their car.

Close to 37 per cent of buyers prefer to buy a hatchback segment, while 29 per cent prefer a compact model.

Also, more than half of (56 per cent) of first-time car buyers (who plan to purchase a car) prefer their own vehicle for daily commute post lockdown.

Vinay Raghunath, Partner & Automotive Sector Leader, EY India, said: "As the ongoing Covid-19 crisis is likely to drive first-time customer segment for entry-level new cars and used cars, it is imperative for OEMs and other players in the ecosystem to collaborate and develop customised value proposition and flexible ownership solutions to leverage this potential revival in the near future."

However, customers expect in-person doorstep test drive services to experience the vehicle prior to purchase and are open to home delivery of the new vehicle if the experience is made memorable or special.

"We are sensing a shift in transit preferences from shared mobility/ public transport to their own vehicle owing to perception of increased health and safety in one’s own vehicle. This will provide an impetus to entry level and compact vehicle segments in near future,” said Som Kapoor, Partner & Automotive Retail Lead, EY India.

Also, online interactions are emerging as a preferred mode and hence vehicle makers and channel partners could rapidly up-skill themselves on digital enablement and seamless interplay between online-offline touchpoints.

Financial or economic uncertainty is the major reason for 26 per cent of respondents resisting/deferring vehicle purchase owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Published on June 11, 2020
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