Post COVID-19, preference shifts to personal mobility : SIAM-Grant Thornton survey finding


The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and Grant Thornton India, released the findings of an opinion poll, titled, “Personal Mobility Experience post COVID-19”.

The survey suggests a shift in preference, with more consumers likely to opt for owned vehicles, than travel by public transport. Seventy-three per cent of the respondents displayed their willingness to purchase new vehicles as the economy slowly revives.

While 29 pc of the surveyed respondents planned to purchase a new vehicle over a period of 12 months, 8 per cent showed willingness to purchase new vehicle in the next six months. More than 56 per cent participants feel that it makes better financial sense to keep their current vehicle, considering the overall economic scenario at present.

Speaking on the survey, Mr Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM, commented, “The automobile industry was already witnessing de-growth even before the pandemic befell. COVID-19 has further intensified the situation. The survey revealed two clear trends on the personal mobility front. While most consumers are preferring personal mobility over public and shared transportation, the slowing economy and its adverse impacts will continue to remain a cause of worry for consumers when it comes to making new purchases. On the other hand however, due to safety concerns in the wake of the pandemic, customers who earlier were not considering buying vehicles, have also now become potential buyers.”

The automobile sector, said Mr Menon, “has traditionally been one of the most resilient sectors and findings of this aforementioned survey corroborates our optimism towards a healthy resurgence soon.”

Also, as per the survey findings, more than 57 pc of respondents in metro and non-metro cities, expressed that they are more likely to go for passenger vehicles for daily commute, when asked about the type of vehicle they are most likely to buy. Respondents also showed preference towards two-wheelers and electric vehicles (EVs), accounting for around 20 per cent each.

Overall, 68 per cent of respondents preferred to stick to the traditional concept of visiting showrooms for vehicle purchases. While 25 pc were open to exploring online channels, only 7 per cent of the respondents preferred to use digital platforms.