Consumers are pessimistic about today’s automotive market that has been hobbled by inventory shortages due to the global computer chip shortage that has, in turn, led to high vehicle prices, according to the most recent survey by Cox Automotive.
Cox Automotive has been tracking consumer behavior and attitudes regarding the chip shortage and its consequences since it began in the summer of 2021. The latest survey, conducted in early March, shows more consumers than ever are aware of the situation. They expect shortages to last for six months or more and prices to continue to rise. To cope, some intend to postpone their purchases. Others plan to order and wait for their vehicles.
Consumer confidence surveys show similar pessimism about vehicle buying today and in the coming months. Lack of inventory has led to new-vehicle sales stalling. New-vehicle sales volume in Q1 2022 was at the lowest level in a decade and down nearly 16% from Q1 2021.
“Like the pandemic, the chip shortage is triggering permanent changes in how consumers shop for and purchase vehicles,” said Vanessa Ton, senior manager, Industry Intelligence at Cox Automotive. “Ordering a vehicle and waiting weeks for it was nearly unheard of in the U.S. before the chip shortage. Now ordering a vehicle from a dealer is more top-of-mind for consumers and they expect it to be commonplace in the future.”
Here are six key takeaways from the latest in the series of Cox Automotive consumer surveys:
- It’s No Secret
Consumers are well aware and remain pessimistic about the automotive market amid a chip shortage, expecting higher prices, lower inventory and longer delivery times.
- More than MSRP? No More!
Slightly fewer in-market shoppers are willing to pay above the MSRP, but those who are willing would pay an average of about 20% over sticker price.
- Order it Up
Approximately one-in-three consumers are likely to order their vehicle and expect delivery to take about 10 weeks.
- Willing to Wait
Due to the chip shortage and resulting inventory and price pressures, just under half (45%) of in-market shoppers are likely to postpone their purchase.
- The New Normal
More than half of consumers who say prices have or will increase due to the shortage feel prices will remain higher, even as supply returns to normal.
- The Long Haul
More than half of consumers expect the chip shortage to continue for more than 6 months, with just over a third thinking the industry’s low-inventory situation will last more than a year.
If you would like to learn more or speak to an expert from Cox Automotive, reach out to the Cox Automotive PR team.