Press release

11 Jun 2020 New Delhi, IN

Car purchase likely to become a priority after the lifting of the national lockdown: EY survey

New Delhi, 11 June 2020. EY released its survey on the impact of COVID-19 and the national lockdown on car sales and consumer buying behavior related to vehicle purchases.

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Related topics COVID-19 Automotive
  • 74% respondents are leaning towards owing their own vehicle and considering it to be a priority purchase post the relaxation of the national lockdown. 57% of first-time buyers have highlighted they are likely to buy a pre-owned vehicle, while 57% of existing car owners are likely to upgrade their car
  • 37% of buyers are likely to buy within hatchback segment, while 29% prefer the compact segment (sedan/SUV)
  • 56% of first-time buyers (who plan to purchase a car) prefer their own vehicle for daily commute post the lockdown (as against 57% opting for public transport or shared mobility prior to lockdown)

New Delhi, 11 June 2020. EY released its survey on the impact of COVID-19 and the national lockdown on car sales and consumer buying behavior related to vehicle purchases. The survey covered a varied demographic mix of more than 1,100 respondents, covering key aspects linked to current mobility preferences, vehicle usage, impact of the national lockdown on commute, preference for new or pre-owned cars, etc.

Through this survey, EY sheds light on customer mobility preference (current and future), factors impacting purchase post lockdown, desired mode of purchase journey and likely vehicle segment purchase.

Post the COVID-19 national lockdown being lifted, potential buyers are increasingly leaning towards online interactions for enquiry generation, communication, negotiation and payment. Further, they would also prefer integration of value-added services through digital channels such as used car evaluation, financing, etc. 

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.

Vinay Raghunath, Partner & Automotive Sector Leader, EY India said, “The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has likely fueled the first-time buyer 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 customized value proposition and flexible ownership solutions to leverage this potential revival in the near future. This demand essentially needs to be catered through an end-to-end contactless journey along with an option to provide doorstep service as per customer convenience. “

Som Kapoor, Partner & Automotive Retail Lead, EY India said, “Keeping aside economic uncertainty, a majority of Indians in metro cities are prioritizing vehicle ownership post the national lockdown. 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. Also, first-time buyers are likely to prefer buying a pre-owned car owing to lower cost of purchase while existing car owners are showing preference to buy a new car.  Furthermore, online interactions are emerging as a preferred mode of interaction for major aspects of the customer journey going forward. It is imperative for OEMs and channel partners to rapidly up-skill themselves on digital enablement and seamless interplay between online-offline touchpoints. “

Financial / Economic uncertainty is the major reason for 26% respondents resisting/deferring vehicle purchase owing to the prevalent pandemic.

“Consumer car buying behavior (post COVID-19)” will provide detailed insights for Indian OEMs to further focus on customer centricity during the car buying experience in the near future.


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