More than a quarter of new car buyers are more inclined than before to purchase from makers that have plants in the UK to help the economy recover, according to new research.
Autocar's sibling brand What Car? questioned 5998 in-market buyers about their changing attitudes to buying a car since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
As well as being more likely to buy a UK-built model, almost four out of 10 buyers said they are now more inclined to purchase from a car brand that has supported frontline workers during the pandemic.
A number of manufacturers supported the NHS and other frontline workers during lockdown, ranging from using demo vehicles to deliver food and medicine to the vulnerable, to offering free cars to key workers.
For example, the PSA Group donated more than 50,000 protective face masks to the NHS while Bentley expanded its 'Meals on 22-inch Wheels' programme to deliver food and other essential items to vulnerable people in the local community.
The research’s findings suggest a subtle shift in the perception of car brands, led by those makers that have demonstrated good social responsibility during this period.
The poll also showed 10.89% of respondents saying the way a brand has behaved during the crisis has influenced how they view them, with 14.13% saying Covid-19 has caused them to consider a different brand from the one they were originally intending to purchase.
However, unsurprisingly, while motorists are more likely to look favourably on dealers and manufacturers that have supported their communities during the pandemic, the goodwill won’t go far unless dealers respond quickly and accurately to customer enquiries, found the What Car? research.