The pandemic is changing car buying plans, or has it?
The pandemic has changed car buying plans for nearly three in four buyers who intended to buy in the next six months. New research from Comscore Automotive Data Mart, cited in a story today by Auto Remarketing, said the pandemic was top of mind for four in ten people who intended to buy.
Buyers pay more attention to all their expenses. They expect to do more research before buying, as income is also a big factor. What is surprising is that buyers are considering buying new vehicles rather than used or certified.
Comscore wanted to know how COVID-19 affected those who planned to buy or lease a new or used vehicle, and what caused a change. Almost half said the pandemic had negatively affected their income, with a greater impact among those aged 18-34 and 34-54 than among those 55 and over. A third expected the pandemic and their economic situation to delay their car buying research and, therefore, their buying schedule.
Not everyone was affected, including 55% who expected no change. 27% said it would not change their car buying plans at all. New offerings and customer support for buyers helped 13% shorten their search. Changes in pandemic cases and transit issues have caused buyers and sales to pick up from their April 2020 lows.
Incentives from automakers and affluent customers who still buy have reduced the effects of the pandemic. Being able to take advantage of the offers has given these buyers a lot of flexibility. Dealers have adopted security protocols in their dealerships to make consumers more comfortable and better meet their needs. Their experience had improved while shopping online. They can view inventories online, get quotes, get loans, and arrange for home delivery.
48% of shoppers were interested in buying a car entirely online, up 10% from 2019. Automakers who have expanded their online presence in response to the pandemic have driven traffic to their sites Web. Consumers ready to buy cars should encourage manufacturers to find new ways to meet their needs.
[Images: Comscore, TTAC, BMW]