Over 70% of consumers in the UAE intend to purchase a new car in the next 12 months, according to a survey commissioned by Audi Abu Dhabi. The YouGov survey of 1,000 UAE residents explored intent to purchase new and used cars in 2022 and how the consumer sentiment towards car purchase has changed amidst the ongoing pandemic.
In a major shift for the automobile industry that has traditionally relied on the physical experience of buying a car, 20% of residents said they are now open to buying a car online through trusted retailers. Both social distancing measures and the desire to limit human contact are contributing to these results.
Commenting on the findings, Audi Abu Dhabi General Manager, Mark Austin, said, “The automotive industry has had its share of setbacks in the past couple of years, but the strong intent to purchase new automobiles among a majority of consumers in the UAE not only highlights a positive recovery in the auto-sector for 2022, but also the overall healthy spending habits in the country. What’s especially noteworthy is the beginning of a shift in car purchases online. More customers would like the option to pick and purchase the vehicles they want on the internet. With a computer or smartphone, buyers can shop at their convenience, explore and select the features they want on a vehicle and get the financing they need.”
While people’s intent to buy a brand-new vehicle seems strong, 32% of respondents shared they are open to exploring second-hand car options. Specifying the budget allocation for a new vehicle amid the pandemic, 23% said they have a lower/limited budget now compared to last year, with 22% of respondents considering ‘buy now pay later’ schemes.
“The demand for used automobiles is rising, particularly for vehicles four years old or newer. These vehicles have lots of the latest automotive technologies but are not as expensive as new vehicles. We are home to one of the regions’ largest inventories of certified pre-owned Audi vehicles that look, feel, and function like new cars albeit at a reduced cost,” Austin added.
Additional insights from the survey showcase that with the ongoing pandemic and the resulting apprehension around taking public transport, 27% of consumers are looking to become first-time car owners. Also, a general awareness regarding environmental issues is impacting the increased intent towards buying electric vehicles in the automotive sector, with 29% looking for more environmentally-friendly models.