The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people across Canada shop for vehicles.
According to a study done by AutoTrader, people are doing their best to adapt to a market in which it is harder to find both a new, or a used vehicle.
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The study says 42 per cent of people were willing to travel further with 31 per cent willing to go over 400 kilometers to find the right vehicle.
“The research shows that Canadian car shopping has not been deterred,” said AutoTrader chief editor Jodi Lai. “A lot of people were willing to change how they bought cars as a result of the manufacturing shortage.”
A key reason for the shift is the global microchip shortage. Shipped mostly from China, manufacturers can only make vehicles at the pace that they receive microchips. However, COVID-19 restrictions in China have been causing delays.
Wyant Group COO Michael Wyant said it’s a problem for manufacturers around the world.
“Original equipment manufacturers have been scrambling to find supply required to build enough in North America, Europe and around the globe. They are running as high a capacity as the parts shortage will allow,” explained Wyant.
“We expect the first bit of 2022 in terms of inventory … (to be) fairly bare.”
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On the other hand, Lai said experts are optimistic production will return to normal further into 2022.
“A lot of manufacturing will be getting back to full production, that’s what we are hearing,” discussed Lai. “Meaning pricing fluctuations should level out this year.”
Wyant added if you are trying to sell a used vehicle, it’s a good time to do it.
“In terms of pre-owned vehicles, there is a short supply of new vehicles, (and that has) upped the value of pre-owned vehicles across the market. The value of your pre-owned vehicle has never been higher. The value of trading a vehicle in is near the price of a brand new vehicle,” Wyant said.
The AutoTrader survey has also found a few other changes in attitudes. Overall, people in Canada are looking more favorably at electric vehicles, although that trend is not as strong in Saskatchewan.
“Sales in B.C. and Ontario are ahead and a more popular choice in those provinces,” mentioned Wyant.
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And because many people have not been spending as much during the pandemic, they may have a little more money saved to put toward a vehicle, said Lai.
The full study can be read here.
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