How the Automotive Industry Will Change Post COVID-19

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In March 2020, the world woke up to the sad news that WHO had declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, bringing most sectors to a standstill. The automotive sector was one of the most affected; production and sales of motor vehicles decreased. The world watched as workers stopped going to car assembly sites, supply of raw materials halted, and executives gave briefs on yearly losses.

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As the world gets back to a new normal thanks to vaccines, industries are slowly bouncing back to how things were pre-Covid-19. However, some aspects have changed completely, and there is no going back. So how will the automotive market change post-Covid-19? Let’s look at how Covid-19 has affected consumers, car dealers, vehicle manufacturers and what the automotive sector will look like moving forward.

Online Transactions

Car dealers have changed how they market and sell their cars. Because of the need to reduce contact to curb the spread of the virus, they started selling online. Instead of selling cars physically, they invested in car stock photo galleries, virtual shows, online product launches, and self-help videos, allowing customers to explore vehicle features remotely. Car buyers have embraced online car shopping and buying and now have vehicles delivered to their doorsteps.

Increased Sales of Used Cars

When Covid-19 hit and authorities imposed a lockdown, most car manufacturers halted manufacturing new vehicles. Furthermore, discontinuation of international travel to mitigate viral spread led to an interruption of the supply chain. This led to a gradual increase of second-hand car sales. Even as the world bounces back to normalcy and car manufacturers get back to work, the demand for used vehicles remains. Consumers are still buying used vehicles because new cars are expensive.

Eco-Friendly Vehicles

Before the Coronavirus rudely interrupted the 2020 plan agreed upon in the Paris Agreement, member countries were working towards a more sustainable transport sector through the rollout of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids. The brief lockdown period and less movement changed how everyone–car dealers, car manufacturers, and consumers–view sustainability.

Car manufacturers have shifted their production to EVs. For instance, General Motors is making more EVs and will go all-electric by 2035. Others like TATA plan to sell about 50,000 EV cars annually by 2023 and launch middle-class-friendly EVs in the next one and a half years.

More Private Vehicles

Covid-19 is still here with us, but is more manageable than it was in the last two years. Social distancing has become the norm for many people, and more individuals are avoiding public transportation. Although a good number of people are still using trains, buses, and ride-sharing services, most people now see owning a car as a necessity rather than a luxury.

The covid-19 pandemic altered the automotive sector in more ways than one. Car manufacturers and dealerships started selling vehicles online, consumers embraced online shopping, and eco-friendly cars became popular. Consumers also started buying used cars because the pandemic interrupted the supply of raw materials needed to manufacture new cars.

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