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Coronavirus Pandemic Increases Demand for New Cars

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2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Coronavirus pandemic increases demand for new cars
The city-driving 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Photo: Mitsubishi Motors

Each month, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence’s Auto Demand Index measures the number of Americans who plan to buy or lease a new car during the following six months. The index’s most recent measure indicates that the coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase in demand for new cars.

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Findings from the index

TechnoMetrica conducts the ADI each month, asking about 1,200 adult Americans, “How likely is it that you will buy or lease a new vehicle within the next six months?” This month, the ADI rose by 44 points, which is equal to a 32.4 percent increase. Accordingly, the ADI reached the highest score that TechnoMetrica has ever tracked with 180 points in total.

May is the second month in a row to have a record high index, and its index is a whopping 76 points higher than the March index. This increase in demand for cars is prevalent in 25 of the 26 demographic groups monitored by TechnoMetrica.

Although the United States overall saw a rise in demand, the amount of growth between March and May varied by region. The Northeast had an impressive 45-point incline, while the West gained 38.2 points and the South improved by 33 points. The Midwest has the smallest gain with 16.1 more points.

There were also variations based on the area type. Suburban locations increased purchase intent by 12.2 points, and urban areas increased by an astounding 85.8 points. Given that many urban areas utilize public transit, it makes sense that many residents would want to switch to cars since cars could potentially be a more hygienic transportation method.

With a new consumer base starting to look for cars, the ADI noted a change in vehicle preferences. In March, SUVs were the most popular among potential buyers, with pickup trucks close behind. In May, sedans moved to the top of consumers’ wish lists.

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Moving forward, TechnoMetrica expects that purchase intent will continue to rise at least in the near future. Given the unusual state of the world right now, there’s no telling how long the pandemic will have an effect on the demand for new cars.