More than half of the European consumers (52%) plan to postpone buying a new vehicle and they will keep their current one longer than originally intended in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Deloitte State of Consumer Tracker, with respondents from Poland being the most cautious regarding the purchasing behavior (68%), followed by the Irish (61%) and the Spanish (60%).
At the opposite end, only 32% of the Dutch have postponed their plans to buy a new vehicle. The survey was conducted on 18,000 respondents from 18 countries, including nine European states – Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and United Kingdom -, in the second half of June 2020.
The study reveals that the pandemic also affects the sectors of services and products related to transportation, with ride-hailing companies being the most impacted, as almost half of the European consumers (45%) plan to limit the use of their services. Furthermore, the study indicates that air companies may have a slow recovery, as only 27% of Europeans feel safe flying right now. Also, more than a quarter of the Spanish, Italians, British and Irish plan to put off regular maintenance services and 8% of the Europeans intend to spend less on fuel in the next four weeks.
“All the sectors related to mobility have been heavily shaken by the recent health crisis, from players in the automotive industry, to air companies, ride-hailers and adjacent services. They are all in the quest for solutions capable of mitigating the effects of COVID-19 from transcending to far-reaching ecosystems, as some of the automotive players succeeded to shift the production to other activities, such as the production of medical equipment, to reshaping their strategies and accelerating their adaptability, as ride-hailing company Bolt acted when introducing electric bikes as a service. In Romania, we already witness a more cautious consumer behavior, reinforced by confined spending and a significant decrease in the number of registered vehicles,” said Ciprian Gavriliu, Tax Partner, Deloitte Romania, and leader of the automotive industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic seems to increase the importance of vehicle ownership, as almost three quarters of the European consumers (72%) feel that owning a car is valuable during these times. In this context, more than half of the Europeans (54%) plan to limit the use of public transportation in the next three months.
When it comes to preferred means of buying a vehicle, 25% of the British are willing to use online purchase channels, followed by Polish (22%) and Germans (21%).
Deloitte State of Consumer Tracker is conducted based on biweekly surveys in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, South Korea, United Kingdom and the United States, using an online panel methodology.