Consumers worldwide say they still plan to buy vehicles, but are delaying their plans and rethinking the type of car they will buy.
Decisions on make, size, price and features are being reconsidered, according to Dynata, which conducted 11,352 interviews from June 11 to 16 using first-party research panels. Interviews were conducted in 11 countries including the United States, Canada, the U.K., China, Singapore and Australia.
Few people said they had cancelled their plans to buy a new car entirely, but of those who did, the pandemic was the overwhelming reason for the cancellation, cited by 88% of those surveyed.
Consumers still have the same intentions to buy cars as they did before the pandemic but are delaying the decision. For example, 11% of people said before the pandemic that they planned to buy a new car in three months’ time, but only 6% carried out their plans.
Pre-pandemic, 42% of those surveyed said they intend to buy a car within the next nine month. Now, only 30% give nine months as their time window, with an additional 15% pushing the window out to 12 months. The same number of people (37% then and 39% now) say they won’t buy in the next 12 months.
When it comes to COVID-19’s effect on the type of car people will buy, 15% of those who still intend to in the next year say they will now buy a bigger car. Similarly, 10% indicated they will buy a higher price car, and 12% say they will buy one with more extras.
On the other hand, 8% will buy a car with fewer extras, 20% a lower price car and 13% a smaller car. So, people are reassessing the car they will purchase, but there is no clear direction in their decision-making. Only 25% said there is no change in which car they plan to buy.
When examining purchase intentions by generation, older generations are more likely to have changed some aspect of their car-buying plans considering the pandemic -- 13% of Generation X, 18% of millennials and 36% of baby boomers have done so.
Twenty-one percent of millennials say they will now buy a larger car than they planned to versus 7% of baby boomers. Younger generations are also now a bit more likely to buy a used car, rather than new, with 20% of millennials saying this, yet only 13% of baby boomers plan to do so.