Improved dealership experiences, more electric vehicle (EV) range and reduced prices and waiting times on new cars are features car buyers would like to see in 2023.
The latest What Car? market study surveyed 1,698 in-market buyers to discover what the priorities for manufacturers and dealers should be in the coming 12 months.
Reflecting the ongoing cost of living crisis, 46.0% wanted to see reduced vehicle prices this year, while 44.3% would like to see EVs offered with more range. Nearly a fifth (18.7%) also wanted more choice of electric cars this year.
Steve Huntingford, editor at What Car?, said: “The ongoing energy and cost of living crisis will be a significant challenge for both the industry and buyers this year. This is reflected in our recent research highlighting how the largest share of buyers prioritise vehicle prices over things like technological development or greater model choice.
“Electric vehicles will clearly remain a priority for buyers this year, though range is still a concern for many. Interestingly, much less emphasis was put on things like self-driving technology, which manufacturers are spending significant money and resources in developing.”
The UK automotive sector remains “adrift of its pre-pandemic performance” after an acceleration in December new car registrations failed to arrest a full-year decline – ending 2022 down 2% at 1.61 million units.
Almost a quarter (23.8%) wanted waiting times reduced on new cars, which have risen to more than a year for many manufacturers due to global semiconductor and supply shortages.
Stellantis franchisees have accused the car manufacturer of trying to “force the market” with pre-registrations despite an inability to deliver on customers’ new vehicle orders.
The research also found 74.6% of new factory order buyers were expecting to receive their new car within six months of placing an order.
Despite growing interest in EVs, 17.1% of buyers wanted manufacturers to offer more choice of petrol and diesel models in 2023.
A better dealership experience was highlighted by 9.5% of buyers, while cutting waiting times on parts and servicing was highlighted by 13.8%. Of least interest was improving self-driving technologies (4.1%) and over-the-air updates (4.5%).