Covid-19 forced customers to postpone decision of buying vehicles: Report

A survey by Mobility Outlook reveals that the Covid-19 pandemic forced 80 percent of consumers to postpone their decision to purchase a four-wheeler, while 82 percent of respondents deferred plans to buy a two-wheeler.

With electric vehicles (EV) gaining traction in India, 40 percent of two-wheeler (2W) customers are willing to buy an EV this year, a slight increase from 2021. But for four-wheelers (4W), it remained similar as last year at 33 percent. The survey sought responses from 2,56,351 consumers

As per this year’s report, 80 percent of respondents postponed their decision to purchase a 4W vehicle and 82 percent postponed their decision to purchase a 2W vehicle due to Covid-19 after effects. This year has seen an increase in the number of people deferring vehicle purchases, and it will take some time to recover from the effects of Covid-19,” Mobility Outlook, a brand of CarTrade Tech, said.

It further said that 18 percent of 4W respondents, against 14 percent in 2021, are trusting on personal savings and liquidity while purchasing a vehicle.

The survey — the Indian Automotive Consumer Canvass (IACC) 2022 conducted from March 3-12, this year, also found that 40 percent of 2W customers were willing to buy an EV this year compared to 37 percent the previous year.

“Meanwhile, there has been no change in the percentage of consumers looking to buy a 4W electric vehicle — 33 percent of respondents were willing to buy a 4W EV this year, exactly the same as in the previous year,” it said.

According to the report, customers are realising that EVs can compete with conventional vehicles while remaining affordable to own and maintain, although they were most concerned about a lack of charging infrastructure.

CarTrade Tech CEO, Consumer Business, Banwari Lal Sharma said, “The survey indicates a positive sentiment…We can see that the people are willing to buy new vehicles but there are many factors which are affecting customers’ decisions.”

He further said, “They are recovering from financial problems. Customers’ preference to explore leasing, pre-owned, subscription models is quite positive at 26 percent. The electric vehicle market needs to focus on charging infrastructure to increase its sales.”

The survey found that 20 percent of respondents were inclined to purchase a pre-owned vehicle this year as compared to 14 percent last year.

In terms of the shift towards online purchases, it revealed that 49 percent of respondents showed a willingness to buy vehicles digitally but another 28 percent cited the inability to touch and feel the vehicle as the top reason for not opting for online purchase.

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