Author Archives: BEBdata

Q1 Car Sales Up 8%

Consumers snapped up new autos at pre-pandemic rates in the first quarter of 2021 by more than 8%.

The gain was powered by higher demand in anticipation of a return to offices and everyday travel as vaccination rates exceeded one-quarter of the population. Also, fear of lower supplies of cars because of chip shortages has left consumers scrambling for any car that they can get, which means accepting less-than-optimal colors, features and even swapping to a different model entirely if needed.

The projected sales acceleration is part of a trend that began soon after factories reopened last summer and has persisted in the months since then. This year’s gains come from retail buyers, whose purchases soared 20% compared with a year ago — a period that largely predated the onset of shelter-in-place orders. Retail deliveries are forecast to have reached 3.16 million vehicles in the quarter, the second-highest total ever.

Buying a Car Online

92% of people buying cars today already research online. This year we saw a complete online  car buying journey emerge including purchase and delivery. People want online car buying.

Prior to the pandemic, only a few dealerships had online capabilities to execute a full online experience. While the purchase journey itself was happening online, the purchase remained  offline. Since COVID-19, at-home test drives and vehicle delivery were tied as the number 1 alternative to visiting a car dealership for shoppers.

At a time when social restrictions related to the pandemic are impacting consumer behavior, developing strategies for how to meet consumer demand for online buying and at-home delivery can make a large impact: 18% of auto shoppers would buy a vehicle sooner if they could purchase the vehicle they wanted without going to a dealership.