The survey, which covered a varied demographic mix of more than 1,100 respondents, also found that 57 per cent of first-time buyers have highlighted they were likely to buy a pre-owned vehicle, while 57 per cent of existing car owners were likely to upgrade their car.
On the other hand, financial/economic uncertainty was the major reason for 26 per cent respondents resisting/deferring vehicle purchase owing to the prevalent pandemic, as per the survey.
With the coronavirus pandemic induced national lockdown being lifted gradually, potential buyers are increasingly leaning towards online interactions for enquiry generation, communication, negotiation and payment, EY said.
“Further, they would also prefer integration of value-added services through digital channels such as used car evaluation and financing,” it added.
In terms of preference of vehicle type, the EY survey found that 37 per cent of buyers were likely to buy within the hatchback segment, while 29 per cent preferred the compact segment (sedan/SUV).
The survey also found that 56 per cent of first-time buyers who plan to purchase a car prefer their own vehicle for daily commute post the lockdown as against 57 per cent opting for public transport or shared mobility prior to lockdown.
EY India Partner and Automotive Sector Leader Vinay Raghunath 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 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other players in the ecosystem to collaborate and develop customised value proposition and flexible ownership solutions to leverage this potential revival in the near future, he added.
“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,” Raghunath said.
EY India Partner and Automotive Retail Lead Som Kapoor said apart from the economic uncertainty, a majority of Indians in metro cities are prioritising vehicle ownership post the national lockdown.
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.
“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,” Kapoor added.
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