2021 Global Automotive Consumer Study

Insights for South Africa

For the past 12 years, Deloitte has surveyed consumers around the world to identify trends in the automotive industry across countries and generations. Explore the latest data and insights around automotive consumer trends in our 2021 Global Automotive Consumer Study.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on consumer behaviour in the automotive industry. It has affected the choice of vehicles; made consumers more price-conscious and made young consumers reconsider their attitudes towards vehicle ownership.

The key findings are:

1. Consumers reconsider their vehicle choices and purchasing plans

As a likely result of the adverse economic environment due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 40% of consumers stated that they are considering delaying the purchase of the next vehicle. However, only 16% of consumers consider purchasing a cheaper, more fuel-efficient or smaller vehicle due to the impact of the pandemic. While young consumers tend to regard vehicle ownership less important than older consumers do, pandemic-induced social distancing is an important factor pushing younger consumers to think about vehicle ownership.


2. Consumers seek affordability and convenience when choosing a vehicle finance provider

While a quarter of South African consumers said, they did not research vehicle-financing options, 45% spent more than 3 hours researching finance options prior to acquiring their current vehicle. More than half of consumers stated that receiving the lowest possible financing rate was the key factor when choosing a vehicle finance provider. In addition to consideration related to affordability, South African consumers look for a provider that offers convenience, an easy process and flexibility. These key factors suggest that South African consumers are price-conscious and many feel the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


3. Dealerships remain the preferred purchasing channel

Dealerships remain the preferred purchasing channel among South African consumers. Close to three-quarters stated that they intend to purchase their next vehicle in person at a dealership. Most consumer said they wanted to see and/or test-drive a vehicle prior to purchasing it. Close to half the consumers that are open to purchase their next vehicle through a virtual process stated convenience as the key drive for them to use a virtual channel.


4. Cost and lack of enabling infrastructure remain key barriers to electric vehicle (EV) adoption

Interest in vehicles with alternative powertrains has dropped in South Africa compared to last year’s survey. Higher prices relative to vehicles with internal combustion engines and the lack of enabling infrastructure remain key barriers to EV adoptions in the country. The majority of consumers that consider an EV as their next vehicle would be willing to pay up to R500 000 for such a vehicle.




2021 Global Automotive Consumer Study | Deloitte

Digital transformation in the automotive industry

From September through October 2020, Deloitte surveyed more
than 24,000 consumers in 23 countries to explore opinions regarding a variety
of critical issues affecting the automotive sector, including the development
of advanced technologies. The 2021 Global Automotive Consumer Study provides
important insights that can help companies prioritize and better position their
business strategies and investments in the year to come.


For more details on emerging automotive industry trends,
download the full report.

Did you find this useful?