Majority Indians intend to acquire a less expensive car: Deloitte

"A significant downside demand risk exists in India, as consumers plan to delay the acquisition of their next vehicle,” the study has found.

By:Updated: Jan 19, 2021 8:50 AM
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A large percentage of Indian consumers (38%) have delayed their timeline to acquire the next vehicle because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the ‘2021 Global Automotive Consumer Study’ by Deloitte, to be released on Tuesday. “A significant downside demand risk exists in India, as consumers plan to delay the acquisition of their next vehicle,” the study has found. “Also, 65% of consumers in India intend to acquire a less expensive vehicle than originally planned”.

At the same time, the pandemic has pushed virtual buying, mainly due to convenience (28%,) ease of use (23%), and speed (22%). In 2020, almost all carmakers rolled out an end-to-end online car-buying mechanism, where a consumer sets her budget, selects a model, goes to the carmaker’s website, takes a test drive with the car delivered at home/office, negotiates online or over phone, and the car is delivered at home after payment. “Indians are tech-savvy and 27% of consumers are willing to purchase their next vehicle through fully virtual route,” said Rajeev Singh, partner & automotive leader, Deloitte India. “However, 75% Indians want to see the vehicle before buying, and 58% have to test drive.”

Singh added that the auto industry took Covid-19 as an opportunity to open up a new world of possibilities, whilst delivering the message that technology would play a critical role to provide top-notch products and after-sales service with an advanced customer experience and personalisation at the core. “The change in consumer preference has enabled auto players to invest in advanced vehicular technologies,” he said.

Other findings include: While the long-term trend towards electric vehicles (EVs) continues to solidify, consumer anxiety amid the pandemic may be shifting automotive priorities towards familiarity and affordability, with 68% Indian consumers looking for a traditional internal combustion engine in their next vehicle. Lack of charging infrastructure remains the most important concern (26%) for Indian consumers to purchase an EV. There is a positive consumer perception of connected vehicles that appears to be edging up in the Indian market, as consumers feel that increased vehicle connectivity will be beneficial, even as 64% Indians fear someone hacking into their connected car and risking their personal safety. Safety features are the top priority for Indian consumers (89%). Indians consumers are conscious about financing options and spend one-five hours researching their finance options. Flexibility for early termination and swapping vehicles is the most important characteristic of a vehicle finance account in India (50%).

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