Similar to findings the firm uncovered from the United States, CarGurus determined through its latest analysis that Canadian consumers still have a sustained, high interest in purchasing vehicles amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This week, CarGurus released its second Canadian COVID-19 Sentiment Study, comparing the newest results to what analysts found back in April. CarGurus director of customer insights Madison Gross summarized the latest study that should be positive news to dealerships and finance companies.

“The benchmarked CarGurus Canada COVID-19 Sentiment Study showed us that while 2020 Canadian auto sales may be lagging, they are certainly not lost due to the pandemic,” Gross said in a news release.

“The study also shows us that COVID-19 has caused vehicle ownership to become more vital to consumers’ everyday lives, often replacing other transportation methods such as ride-sharing or public transit,” she continued.

CarGurus reported that fewer shoppers indicated a delay in making a vehicle purchase in June versus April. In addition, CarGurus pointed out that COVID-19 has even stimulated some new demand for vehicles.

Consider these survey findings:

— In June, 78% of car shoppers reported delaying their car purchases, down from 87% in April

— Only 2% of those who had planned to buy in 2020 before the pandemic have now delayed their purchase indefinitely, down from 6% in April

— 21% of those who either currently plan to purchase in 2020 but have yet to do so, or already purchased a vehicle in 2020, had actually not planned to buy a vehicle before the pandemic

Additionally, CarGurus vehicles are becoming more vital to consumers’ everyday lives as individuals and families emerge from the spring lockdown and reconsider what mobility looks like in the long-term.

Analysts mentioned these two particular survey points about that topic:

— 41% of respondents who previously used taxis or ride-sharing, and 50% of those who previously used public transportation, expect to decrease their use of these services — or stop using them entirely

— 45% of respondents say they see their vehicle as an escape or for fun and 32% of respondents say they expect to use their vehicle more going forward than before the pandemic

Across all industries, CarGurus acknowledged brands have adjusted their marketing and customer communications to the COVID-19 crisis. This latest study looked specifically at the car-shopper reaction to how automotive brands responded to the pandemic.

Analysts found the top brands that car shoppers recognized as having responded well to the crisis included

— Ford (18%)
— Toyota (17%)
— Honda (15%)
— BMW (10%)
— Hyundai (10%)

CarGurus added that 30% of car shoppers said no auto brands stood out as having responded well to the COVID-19 crisis.

In June, CarGurus surveyed 505 shoppers on their sentiments toward vehicle buying during the COVID-19 pandemic. All respondents had intentions to buy a vehicle in 2020, either before or after the pandemic.

In April, CarGurus surveyed 500 shoppers as the first iteration of this benchmarking study.

What CarGurus discovered through its U.S. survey is recapped in this report.