Despite the economy, people still intend to buy autos: AutoTrader survey

Quite apart from what might be the dominant story in the economic news, the majority of Canadians are relatively confident about their finances going into the next year, and their plans to purchase new vehicles when they become available remains mostly undaunted.

Auto dealers are justly judging consumer vehicle purchase intentions in light of the economic uncertainty, but AutoTrader’s latest study, which looks at consumer attitudes toward the market during the third quarter of 2022, “is showing a promising outlook, revealing that intentions to purchase a vehicle in the next six months have actually increased up to 24 per cent compared to March of this year (18 per cent).”

One of the study’s main findings was that, despite concerns, many Canadians rate their current financial situation positively. With an improvement in economic outlook, “intentions to buy a new vehicle increase by a third. Assuming a decline, however, intentions decrease by a similar proportion.” Only ten per cent of Canadians feel that their situation may worsen over the next six months, while the vast majority feel it will either remain the same or improve.

Another interesting finding is that whether the market improves, declines, or stays the same, the majority of buyers will still opt for a new vehicle. Sixty-two per cent will buy new if the market improves, 58 per cent if it stays the same, and 60 per cent will buy new even if it declines.

The study reports that car shopper budgets likely won’t change even if the market does, and those who intend to purchase won’t change the amount they’re likely to spend if the economy stays the same, or even if it declines.

AutoTrader concludes that “While there is still uncertainty when it comes to the market and intentions will change depending on the Canadian economic outlook, even in difficult times, consumers still want and need to buy cars. It’s crucial for dealers to continue to invest in replenishing stock as well as marketing and promotion of both dealership and inventory during this time, as car shopper purchase intentions remain steady.”


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