Currently reading: Car buyers more likely to buy UK-built models post-pandemic
Research also suggests motorists will favour brands that have helped their communities during lockdown
2 mins read
19 August 2020

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.


Analysis: Are car sales bouncing back? 

UK car dealerships predict strong demand in wake of lockdown 

How to buy a car during a pandemic


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Tonrichard 20 August 2020

Support Vauxhall

I am not in generally in favour of Govt intervention in free markets and in any event EU precurement rules are meant to prevent overt favouritism towards national companies (although this largely seems to be ignored by the French and Germans) but I do think post our departure from the EU some encouragement needs to be given towards upholding the UK motor industry. The most vulnerable plant must be Ellesmere Port so shouldn't the big public sector organisations such as the Police be encouraged to buy Astra's rather than vehicles from manufacturers with no UK manufacturing presence. You can make a case for them buying BMW's (especially if JLR vehicles do not meet their reliability thresholds) because BMW have huge investments in MINI and Rolls Royce but why are we buying Hyundai's or (for the time being) Mitsubishi's? I think there has to be more long term strategic thought given to the use of taxpayers money rather than always opting for the cheapest short term solution. I am no Brexiteer but I believe we now need to make the best from the situation we now face. 

Citytiger 19 August 2020

So basically

People are going to buy an Vauxhall Astra (PSA- French) or a Bentley (German) car, because these companies help the communities during lockdown,  and these cars are built in the UK, somehow I think that survey was flawed.. I cant see the Astra knocking the Fiesta the Focus or the Golf out of the slaes figues, and Bentley certainly are not. 

jensen_healey 19 August 2020

What a great idea - Shame

What a great idea - Shame Tony Blairs labour government didn't take this approach when they let the remains of the Rover group die with a half-baked Chinese sell off after being asset stripped by the 'gang of four'.

Or sucessive government and local authorities who happily spent tax payers revenue on foreign manufactured vehicles for Police, Fire and local authority use when there were (and still are) perfectly satisfactory UK built equivalents.

No doubt I will be accused of 'Little Britain' nationalism but how often do you see foreign-built public service vehicles in Germany or France......   

scotty5 19 August 2020

Blair sold Rover to Chinese? WTF

jensen_healey wrote:

What a great idea - Shame Tony Blairs labour government didn't take this approach when they let the remains of the Rover group die with a half-baked Chinese sell off after being asset

Erm...  I think you are in need of a simple history lesson. They were originally a group of UK private motor companies who were going bust and were SAVED by a labour government who brought them under control of the taxpayer by part nationalising them. It was Mrs Thatcher and her Tory government who sold it.

Whatever the pros and cons of government intervention and whether nationalisation was a good thing or not, your blaming of Tony Blair's for 'selling?' to the Chinese is pure fantasy.


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