The COVID-19 pandemic has forced 80 per cent of consumers to postpone their decision to purchase a four-wheeler, while 82 per cent of respondents deferred plans to buy a two-wheeler, according to a survey by Mobility Outlook.
With electric vehicles (EV) gaining traction in India, 40 per cent 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 the same as last year at 33 per cent, as per the survey by Mobility Outlook — a brand of CarTrade Tech, which sought responses from 2,56,351 consumers.
“As per this year’s report, 80 per cent of respondents postponed their decision to purchase a 4W vehicle and 82 per cent 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 said.
It further said that 18 per cent of 4W respondents, against 14 per cent 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 per cent of 2W customers were willing to buy an EV this year compared to 37 per cent a year earlier.
“Meanwhile, there has been no change in the percentage of consumers looking to buy a 4W electric vehicle — 33 per cent 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 per cent. The electric vehicle market needs to focus on charging infrastructure to increase its sales”.
The survey found that 20 per cent of respondents were inclined to purchase a pre-owned vehicle this year as compared to 14 per cent last year.
In terms of the shift towards online purchases, it revealed that 49 per cent of respondents showed a willingness to buy vehicles digitally but another 28 per cent cited the inability to touch and feel the vehicle as the top reason for not opting for online purchase.