Automotive Outlook and Opportunities for 2022 and beyond | Consumer | Deloitte Netherlands


Automotive: Outlook and Opportunities for 2022 and Beyond

Global State of the Consumer Tracker: Focus on the Netherlands

Why are car sales declining and what will 2022 and following years bring for the Dutch automotive market? Find out more about the defining factors, the peculiarities of the Dutch market, and a new perspective on mobility.

2020 – 2022: declining car sales

What is happening in the Dutch automotive market? Before the COVID-19 era, around 400,000 cars were sold in the Netherlands each year. In 2020, car sales dropped to 350,000, followed by a further decline in 2021 (323,000). In fact, car sales in the Netherlands haven’t been this low since 20071 . So obviously, one of the major questions for the industry is: what will 2022 and following years bring?

New cars vs. used cars

Deloitte’s Consumer Tracker indicates that on a global level, 27% of consumers are planning to buy a car in the first six months of 2022, and 65% of them consider buying a new car. However, the numbers for the Dutch market show that only 17% of consumers have similar plans, and of those, only 45% are thinking of buying a brand new car. The majority is interested in used cars, especially those ranging in price from 7500 to 12500 euros. As public transport is relatively expensive in the Netherlands, many consumers prefer a used car to trains and buses.

Dutch thrift and the pandemic

The overall lower numbers for car sales in the Netherlands are due partly to the proverbial Dutch thrift, and partly to the pandemic. Consumers can only spend their euros once, and they are extra careful in insecure financial times such as the COVID-19 era. So are they going to buy a new car or for example improve their home? In the Netherlands, with an exploding housing market and most people working remotely from their living rooms over the last two years, many consumers prefer improvements and extensions to their homes.

Additional factors

There are other factors as well, which do not merely apply to the Dutch market. First of all, chip shortage has slowed down the car manufacturing process1. Second, there is less urgency than before to replace one’s car, new or used. Due to COVID-19 regulations, many people have been working from home for months and months, so their cars remained in the parking lot. Other factors are typically Dutch, based on Dutch taxation (e.g. whimsical developments in personal income tax liability for company cars, the likely introduction of road pricing and the dismateling of luxury car tax (BPM).

A new perspective on mobility

And some factors for lower car sales have to do with a new perspective on mobility. The “CASA key topics” (CASA = Connectivity, Alternative powertrains, Shared mobility, and Autonomous driving) are starting to change the global automotive landscape. When it comes to the first A in CASA – Alternative powertrains – electric cars are slowly but surely taking over a substantial part of the Dutch automotive market. With 2030 in mind, their share will surely increase even more. The loading infrastructure remains a point of interest, but is definitely improving. We also see an important role for hydrogen cars in the future. Since electric cars last much longer than traditional ones, we also need to start considering the concept of refurbished cars with a second and even third lifecycle, supporting the sustainability theme in automotive as well.

Deloitte State of the Consumer Tracker

Since March 2020, the world has moved through a collective human experience that is shaping and shifting consumer priorities, purchase behaviours, preferences, and spending decisions. The Deloitte Consumer Industry Center continues to collect data and analyse it to better understand the shifts in the current consumer mindset and explore the potential implications for a postpandemic world. This exploration has prompted new questions, new data, and new insights. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll continue to lean into the implications and unpack our initial observations. Please find our latest results in our interactive dashboard Consumer Tracker to explore additional data by country and age.

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