Team-BHP > The Indian Car Scene


View Poll Results: If you were planning to buy a car before the pandemic hit, are you:
Going ahead with the original plan 64 10.05%
Changing your choice to a cheaper model 12 1.88%
Going for a used car instead 43 6.75%
Postponing your decision 364 57.14%
Cancelled the plan to buy a car altogether 127 19.94%
Other (please specify in your post) 27 4.24%
Voters: 637. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 9th May 2020, 22:51   #1
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Default Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

I'm sure many of us here had made plans for getting new cars and some of us were already holding valid bookings with plans to take delivery as per the waiting schedule. The same can be said for the pre-worshipped car market. However, due to the pandemic, everything is gone for a toss and many would reconsider their decisions.

On a personal front, we have a booking in hand which had a waiting period of 2 months. We are mostly going to postpone the purchase by another 3-4 months. Someone in my extended family, however, went ahead and hastened the purchase of his car and ensured he got all registration formalities done just before the lockdown.

So, what is the BHPian consensus on this?

Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?-delivery02.jpg
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Old 9th May 2020, 23:15   #2
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

Cancelled the plan to buy the car all together. I rather have liquidity in my hand with no installments on my head to tide over these uncertain times.

I have a 2008 Swift Diesel which is at 1 lakh 80 thousand km, requires a new suspension, steering overhaul and a front cross member which has rusted and needs replacement. All this is going to cost me 30 k including labor, I will get all this done and drive the car for another couple of years and if more repairs are needed, will get it done on the way, but not buying a new car.
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Old 9th May 2020, 23:18   #3
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

As a businessman, the situation is very uncertain. Procurement, production, supply and then collection, everything remains halted. The entire circle has been broken. Cash flow has completely stalled. Until such a time when both demand and production stabilise and the circle starts going around again, all whims and big ticket purchases have been put on hold. Till then, focus will remain on laying low and conserving cash.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 9th May 2020 at 23:19.
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Old 9th May 2020, 23:26   #4
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

Working as an employee for India's largest airline, we have already received mails regarding salary deductions and leave without pay. I was planning to swap in my 5 year old 320d for a new 330i or a preowned 5 series this year but now i would delay my purchase indefinitely unless things are clear.
Am into flying related duties and allowances make a big portion of our salary which would be zero with negligible flying and no international flights for the foreseeable future.

With no support from government, our industry is facing huge losses and it would take a very long time to recover and regain passenger confidence, i do not want to liquidate my savings or take a loan at this point so i would delay the upgrade plans.
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Old 9th May 2020, 23:36   #5
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

Was planning to buy the 2020 Thar this year. This would've been an additional vehicle to the garage. With the current instability going around due to the pandemic and the current car(2014 Honda City) running perfectly fine we wouldn't be adding any new automobiles to the garage for sometime.

This lockdown has definitely given us the time to prioritize the needs vs wants!
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Old 10th May 2020, 00:12   #6
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

I've shelved plans of buying a new car for atleast 3 years, considering the uncertain job situation.

Even then, I'll buy a car half my yearly CTC. Not a penny more.
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Old 10th May 2020, 00:22   #7
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

Was planning to upgrade my 5 year old vento to seltos this diwali. But have completely cancelled the plan altogether for this year and will wait till the diwali next year atleast to see how things move.
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Old 10th May 2020, 00:34   #8
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

I'm probably in the best possible situation in this context.

My car turned 1 yesterday, and it was bought with funds saved up specifically for it and without a loan. So I've now got at least a few years of ownership before I have to worry about anything except fuel and regular/incidental maintenance.

Boy am I glad I resisted the strong momentary urge to buy a bigger car with a short-term loan.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 10th May 2020 at 00:35.
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Old 10th May 2020, 01:03   #9
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

As my father is a businessman and just about 6 months back he made a big investment that increased his production capacity by about 40% our situation now seems to be pretty volatile.

Though the production was not halted (as the government had allowed industries with continuous processes to run), there is a cash crunch and we may end up with a lot of excess stock if the recession is worse than we expected. So, its a hold tight situation.

There were plans to replace our 2014 wagonR with 90k km on the odo, as it was throwing up some troubles, with something bigger and better, like a Seltos or a sub 4m C-SUV, 8-10 months down the line but all those have been shelved now.

Heck, even plans for small things like a mobile phone, and a slight renovation to our home have been shelved, for now. We do not know what awaits us in the future. So, it is better, imo to be safe than sorry.

Now, looking at the larger picture, automotive industry which was in the ICU will now need to occupy a ventilator. The consumer will now refrain from any car purchase.

Here are some trends for car searches. Look at how all the popular models fall in searches just after the nationwide lockdown.

Maruti Suzuki Swift
Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?-screenshot_20200510004323_chrome.jpg
Hyundai Creta
Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?-screenshot_20200510004206_chrome.jpg
Honda City
Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?-screenshot_20200510003958_chrome.jpg
Toyota Innova Crysta
Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?-screenshot_20200510004240_chrome.jpg

Look at how they all just dive at the 21st March point as if hit by an Earthquake.
Look at how the new Creta had a lot of Hullaboo just before 21st March and how it all went away at that point.

Though I agree, this statistic might rather be suggestive of the fact that people just think less about transport and cars during a lockdown but it might also be significant of a larger sudden loss of consumer interest in cars.

When you need to fight for food and shelter thanks to major job losses, pay cuts, bankruptcies that follow, the last thing one wants is the liability of a car loan.

Also, centre as well as the states are now hiking the taxes on fuel significantly thus nullifying the effect of low crude prices and even increasing the prices of fuel. Thus, further worsening the effect on the auto sector.

Last edited by Shreyas Agarwal : 10th May 2020 at 01:10.
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Old 10th May 2020, 03:24   #10
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

Voted for 'Postponing my decision'.

My car has run 1.93L kms run and needs to be substituted, if not replaced. If nothing - a more reliable, faster and more relaxed highway cruiser/offroader is required - and I am looking at crossover/SUV options. I cannot cancel the purchase, but it can wait till the highway runs really start. Even if the roads are opened - I don't think any long road trips will happen till the end of 2020 at the least.

Had said a few months earlier when the Corona scare was not as serious - and I believe it even more now - end 2020 may just see the biggest bargains of recent times. A few months back when I expressed this opinion, many had argued that companies will need to raise prices to compensate for the fall in sales, but after the lockdown - I guess now many of us agree that cash flow is a lot more important than profits these days.

The EMI schemes offered by different manufacturers are only a start. I'm going to see what discounts December 2020 brings.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 10th May 2020 at 03:28.
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Old 10th May 2020, 03:37   #11
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

We had booked a Seltos in Feburary to replace our aging i20. Dad had almost taken delivery 2 weeks before the lockdown was announced but thankfully he finally gave into my tantrums of not going in for the silver and waiting for white/grey we had originally booked.

As my dad is a businessman who has a large chunk of his savings in stocks and with his main business being in the finance and real estate sector, the question of a new car has been shelved.

More so, since he always buys his vehicles outright, the question of spending a large chunk of money on any non-essential thing is thrown right out of the window.

Looking at the current situation, I don't foresee us making any big-ticket purchases till Q2-Q3 of 2021

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 10th May 2020 at 04:31. Reason: As requested.
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Old 10th May 2020, 07:52   #12
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

My kid brother had plans to buy a luxury sedan or SUV this year. We had even scheduled a date to start looking for pre-worshipped E-Class'. Has been cancelled. We are very conservative in terms of financial planning. This is the time to freeze all large purchases, not just cars - the "tomorrow" is highly uncertain.
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Old 10th May 2020, 08:12   #13
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

As a retired man my income is dependent on the Bombay Stock Exchange and we certainly are in uncertain times. How uncertain is uncertain but that these are uncertain is certain. Certainly more uncertain than earlier financial hotspots of uncertainity - 1991, 1997-98, 2008, and now 2020. I was planning some changes in the 2021 time frame. Have moved that to 2022 or maybe even 2023 - that at least is certain.
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Old 10th May 2020, 08:51   #14
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

I wanted to change three of my vehicles. None of them are giving me any troubles. Just that they have been a little old and I need a bigger car with auto box.

Ecosport - ~75 k and 6years
Nano - ~ 20 k and 5 years
Activa - ~ 60 k and 10 years

None of them have reached their true engine life.
With this uncertainty, I am just holding on to them for the foreseeable future.
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Old 10th May 2020, 08:52   #15
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Default Re: Has the current situation changed your car buying plans of 2020-21?

Voted for "postponing your decision". My car lease term had ended by March 31st 2020 and I was contemplating a second car or a replacement. Had a SUV in mind as I already have a sedan.

With the current situation I have put such high cash outflow items to the bottom of my list. I cant even ascertain when we will be able to drive like earlier. Highly unlikely anytime before a vaccine is found and everyone including kids are administered one.
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