There have been significant improvements in the automotive industries financial outlook in the last few months. Across the country, car purchases are still 14% below averages before COVID, but that shows a four point percentage improvement since earlier this spring.
Purchase intent is increasing across the country, especially in homes with higher incomes. The numbers are still below pre-COVID, but show increases from last spring and summer. Many consumers are planning to spend less on their new or used car than before and are taking advantage of discounts offered by dealerships and automakers.
A big factor consumers are looking for is the ability to conduct all of the purchase online or with very little contact at the dealership. Many dealers are offering test drives with no sales person in the car and may even bring the vehicle to your home for you to drive. Some consumers are willing to pay extra for this service if it isn’t offered at their dealership.
People are also traveling less and while they are likely to return to pre-COVID habits, it is believed that walking and biking as much as possible will become more popular. Many consumers are still concerned about public transportation and are choosing to commute and travel by private vehicle rather than by plane or bus. Younger consumers want constant access to a private vehicle and this will likely drive car sales higher when people feel more financially secure.