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While auto sales are off, “they are certainly not lost,” Gross says.

Car Dealers See Growing Shopper Interest, Study Says

Ride-sharing and public-transit usage show signs of waning in the age of the pandemic, according to CarGurus.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, automotive consumers have had a sustained, high interest in purchasing vehicles, according to the second CarGurus COVID-19 Sentiment Study.

While 2020 auto sales are off, “they are certainly not lost due to the pandemic,” says Madison Gross, CarGurus’ director-customer insights.

Because of public health reasons, the study suggests vehicle ownership has become more important to some consumers as they back off from transportation alternatives such as ride-sharing and public transit.

The first study was released in April. Major findings of the latest study include:

  • Fewer shoppers reported delaying car purchases in June versus April, and most vehicle sales are not lost in the long-term due to the pandemic. Moreover, COVID-19 has even stimulated some new demand for vehicles. In June, 69% of surveyed car shoppers reported delaying their car purchases, down from 79% in April.
  • Only 2% of those who had planned to buy in 2020 before the pandemic have now delayed their purchase indefinitely, down from 8% in April.
  • 22% of those who either currently plan to purchase in 2020 or already purchased a vehicle this year had actually not planned to buy a vehicle before the pandemic.

On the topic of personal vehicle ownership:

  • 39% of respondents who previously used ride-sharing, and 44% of those who previously used public transportation, expect to decrease their use of these services-or stop using them entirely
  • 49% of respondents say they see their car as an escape or for fun, and 33% say they expect to use their car more going forward.
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