The India lockdown has been further extended until the 17th of May, and it’s highly likely that even after the lockdown is lifted there will be restrictions on public gatherings, travel, recreation activities or anything that involves a large group of people which could comprise social distancing.
The lockdown has severely affected various businesses resulting in an economic slowdown that is likely to impact spending power of consumers which could have an impact on businesses such as real estate, transportation & the automotive industry.
While the road to recovery is not anywhere around the corner, it’s going to take a few months or more before normalcy returns. The good news for the auto industry is that the changing consumer preferences in the post Covid world are expected to boost car sales, helping in a faster recovery time.
We at CARS24 conducted a research study using various digital platforms to understand the consumer sentiments, behavior changes and commuting preferences post the coronavirus lockdown.
According to the research 53 percent of the respondents are likely to buy a car within the next six months as consumers prefer private vehicles for commuting over public transport services like buses, metros, auto rickshaws, and shared taxi services post the lockdown. Among these respondents 25 percent earlier used public transport and taxi services to travel, 50 percent of them plan to drive their own car while 15 percent are expected to use a two wheeler.
Due to economic slowdown caused by the pandemic, consumers will prefer to buy pre-owned cars over new ones. About 46 percent of respondents with purchase intent are likely to spend less on a car purchase due to financial constraints, out of which 50 percent are interested in buying a pre-owned car. Interestingly , 22.5 percent of the of the consumers who were planning on buying a new car last year would prefer used cars due to limited budget.
Apart from financial constraints, family requirements and the risk of Infection have emerged as the major reasons for buying a car amongst the consumers. Further 42 percent respondents feel that they now need to buy a car for the family while 53 percent of them might buy a car within the next six months.
Apart from this, 10 percent of respondents are willing to increase their budget for a safer car with features like air purification & self-sanitization, 40 percent of them prefer contactless car purchases over conventional car buying.
Some more interesting insights from the research study
While it might take some time for the car companies to recover from the effects of the pandemic as production is affected due to shortage of spare parts, limited manufacturing etc., the used car industry is expected to recover much faster than the new car industry as consumers will change their ways of commuting from public transport & taxi services to their own vehicles which creates an increased buyer intent for pre-owned cars plus the economic conditions will turn buyers towards the used cars.
The research study was conducted using various digital platforms, over 3600 respondents from 11 metros and 37 non-metro were a part of it. Around 59% of the respondents were from the metro cities and 41% of respondents of them were from the non-metro cities, 30% of them interestingly, did not own a car and were interested in purchasing a pre-owned car. The report comprised 83% male responders and 27% female responders.
What’s your commuting preference post the Coronavirus lockdown? Leave your answers in the comment below