Coronavirus has changed customers’ traditional perceptions towards car brands, new research finds

Time 1 year ago

Nearly four out of 10 car buyers (38.9 per cent) are more inclined to purchase from a manufacturer that has supported frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A survey of 5,998 in-market buyers carried out by What Car? also found that Covid-19 has caused 10.9 per cent of car buyers to change their perceptions of a manufacturer, with 14.1 per cent saying responses to the pandemic have caused them to consider a brand that wasn’t previously on their shortlist.

Many brands switched their factories off from making cars and instead manufactured essential hospital equipment, while dealers used demo cars to delivered food and medicine to vulnerable people.


The research found those actions helped to change consumer perceptions about brands, with more than a quarter of car buyers also keen to purchase from UK manufacturers or companies that have factories in the UK.

Rachael Prasher, managing director of What Car?, said: ‘Brand perceptions are incredibly difficult to influence and change. Many people buy the same vehicle make for years because that’s what they’ve grown up with.

‘Yet how manufacturers have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic has clearly influenced how buyers perceive them, and importantly, has caused many to consider a brand they would have previously overlooked. Our research shows just how important a good corporate social responsibility strategy is in today’s economy.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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