Automotive Purchase Intent After Covid-19

  • April 17, 2021

  • Eyes4Research

The prolonged Covid-19 pandemic has had cataclysmic consequences for almost every major industry. The mobility sector is no exception with production and purchasing in lockdown. Lifestyles have altered dramatically during this time and studies on consumer purchasing intent post-pandemic have highlighted how these changes will impact the industry going forward. Surprisingly perhaps, the predictions for the future are optimistic, at least in the US and China. Three main reasons emerged for intenders to purchase new vehicles.

  1. Safety and Protection.

The overwhelming factor governing the interest in purchasing post-Covid is the desire to continue social distancing by avoiding modes of public transport. The feeling of being safer and more protected in a personal vehicle was a reason 55% of intenders gave as the reason for considering buying a new car after the Covid restrictions have passed. 

2. Good Deals.

Customers are expected to take advantage of post-pandemic bargains. With few exceptions, global economies were negatively impacted in 2020, saved only to some degree by advances in digital technologies. Many consumers also lost out economically and feel they will be looking for bargain purchases as the restrictions are lifted. 25% of automotive purchase intenders expected the stagnant industry to be keen to offer discounts and incentives to buy.

3. Deterioration of current vehicle.

Fewer intenders gave this reason for purchasing a new car. A car that is becoming too old to drive is always one reason for deciding on changing it. It would seem that pandemic conditions would have made little difference but some vehicles may have deteriorated more than usual being unused for an unusually long period. Owners who intended to sell earlier or make substantial repairs were prevented during lockdown will now be looking to purchase a new vehicle.

Negative perspectives.

Current research suggests an upturn can be anticipated in the US and also in China. Findings also show that this confidence is not echoed in other countries including the major European economies of Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK, all of which have been hard hit by the pandemic. The principal reason for consumers not intending to purchase is the personal and national economic situation in these countries. Time and incentives may be needed to improve to remove these negative perceptions.

US confidence.

The downturn in the automobile markets in the last year look to be on track to make recoveries post Covid-19 if the industry reflects the changes in lifestyles during that time. Ecological and environmental concerns have continued to influence the type of vehicle purchases will be looking for. Some consumers will have money to spare having by living and working at home for the duration but many will be struggling financially and will be looking for cost-efficiency and reliability as of prime importance in the choice of vehicle. E-commerce has boomed in lockdown and those in the industry who have already developed online marketing strategies will likely benefit by continuing this trend. Incentives such as discounts, easy financing terms and full digital services will doubtless help speed the recovery.


Ipsos COVID-19 Impact on Auto Global Study (2020)

Statista. Changes in New Car Purchase Intent (2020)