Car sales have become a complicated business. In the midst of a global pandemic, customers worry about spending money on a new vehicle. At the same time, public transport continues to appear less and less appealing. How are auto sales adjusting to the “new norm” we keep hearing about?
The first difference in current car sales is the fact that showrooms are no longer a popular option. Going out into public brings with it the threat of contagion. Therefore, customers are more interested in remote business options. And with COVID-19 cases climbing again, public businesses remain in a state of limbo. Officials continue to revise operating orders. So online sales feel like a steadier choice.
Many businesses are working hard to improve digital options. Customers can currently schedule a showing and a test-drive if they’re interested in a particular car. And some CEO’s think there’s no going back. Once people see how easy it is to shop for a car online, they may not want to go back to a fully in-person system.
Reportedly, car sales have not hugely declined throughout the pandemic. Mostly, they have shifted to online mediums. Mike Bowsher, who owns a smaller dealership, has said that the online sales aren’t quite covering the loss of more traditional sales. But he feels that has more to do with a lack of inventory due to closed auto plants.
And it would make sense that people are still opting to buy cars. Riding the bus or train increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19. Those who are returning to work may want a more private commute. And though financially, many are suffering right now, plenty of companies and banks are offering assistance with interest. So taking out a car loan might be a little stressful but it certainly isn’t impossible or even unwise.
As the world continues to respond to the global health crisis, we may find that more and more people want cars–and want to shop for them from the comfort of their own homes.