Increasing numbers of car buyers are ditching notions of brand loyalty in favour of shorter waiting times as the new car market’s stock shortage issues continue – with almost four fifths open to switching makes.
Research compiled by carwow shows that 79% of new car buyers are happy to choose their next car on the basis that they will receive their new car quicker – up 8ppts on data gathered at the start of 2022 – with brands offering immediate availability 33% more likely to convert to sale.
Data gathered from 18,000 customer enquiries and transactions between November and December 2022 also found that buyers are now 45% more likely to contact a dealership if they see that their preferred make and model is currently in stock online.
Sepi Arani, commercial director at carwow, said: “Stock shortages have become an embedded feature in the new car market, and it’s prompting many consumers to think twice about sticking with those brands they know and trust.
“While this fall in brand loyalty might seem a cause for concern, it’s also an opportunity for those brands and dealers who are willing and able to engage proactively with prospects.
“Highlighting similar stock – including used examples – where there is better availability is more important than ever, and there are significant rewards to reap for those businesses that implement digital conquest campaigns reaching out to wavering prospects.”
In November Cox Automotive downgraded its UK new car registrations forecasts for 2023 by between 7% and 15% as its predicted that faltering vehicle supplies may not recover until Q3 this year.
While production issues continue to hamper new car volumes, one car retailer told AM this week that logistics issues in the UK continue to be a major issue for many OEMs, with many vehicles stuck dock-side and unable to reach dealerships and customers.
Stellantis invited its retailers to collect customers' cars themselves in a bid to overcome such issues as it transitioned to a new logistics model in Q4.
Speaking to AM today (January 24), Stellantis UK group managing director Paul Willcox said the problem was now starting to ease, however.
Logistics was one of a number of challenges faced by car retailers in 2023 that was highlighted in MotorVise managing director Fraser Brown's recent ‘guest opinion’ for AM.
Customers facing hold-ups are now evaluating a wider range of vehicles before placing enquiries and making a purchase in order to secure a car faster, carwow said.
The average carwow buyer now configures seven different models from four different brands and places enquiries with three dealers prior to purchase.
This is up from five configured models from three brands before placing enquiries with two dealers in 2021.
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