Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers in many markets are rethinking not only on when to buy their next vehicle but also on the type of vehicle they will buy next, the study said.
From September through October 2020, Deloitte surveyed more than 24,000 consumers in 23 countries to record opinions on various critical issues affecting the automotive sector, including the development of advanced technologies.
Vehicle payment deferments are also raising some concern across the globe, the report said. Among the six countries surveyed in the study, India tops the list followed by China in the average number of consumers requesting payment deferment this year.
About 52% of respondents have requested payment deferment this year in India with younger consumers more likely to push back payments.
The virus outbreak also impacted the timelines for acquiring their next vehicle, the report highlighted. It showed that 38% Indian consumers had delayed their timeline for acquiring the next vehicle because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the risk of affordability concern increases, the report said that a growing number of people are deferring vehicle loan/lease payments with some intending to acquire a less expensive vehicle than originally planned.
While the vast majority (84%) of the US consumers plans to purchase a similar vehicle in the future, more than half of consumers in India (57%) plan to enter a completely different vehicle segment due to the pandemic, the study said.
Despite the rising popularity of online automotive sales globally due to the pandemic, 60% of Indian consumers still want the in-person experience moving forward.
“Unlike many other retail sectors that have seen the wholesale shift to online buying, purchasing a vehicle remains a personal experience for many consumers. However, some people will be looking for a virtual sales experience to maximise convenience, speed and ease of use. This will likely result in a more complicated, and potentially costly, set of consumer expectations for dealers to meet when businesses are looking to recover and thrive in the wake of the pandemic,” Karen Bowman, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and the US automotive sector leader, said.