Cars.com, a leading digital automotive marketplace and solutions provider, on Jan. 14 revealed the top five trends advancing the auto space in 2021 and beyond.
The COVID-19 pandemic forever altered car buying and selling, and changes will persist this year as Americans continue to spend more time at home and online, place a premium on the freedom car ownership provides and keep affordability and electric vehicles top of mind.
"In the new virtual-first environment, digital platforms have significantly increased in importance for small businesses across the country, dealerships included, as the need persists to virtually connect with at-home shoppers," said Alex Vetter, Cars.com Inc. CEO. "The new year will bring fast and persistent adaptation in our industry as consumers continue to rely on cars as an extension of their homes, and look for frictionless digital experiences from their local dealerships.
"America's car dealers are well positioned to meet these expectations head-on as technology takes center stage, and we welcome this new era of digital car buying and selling."
Cars.com predicts the following trends will have the most long-term impact on car shopping in 2021:
New wave of car buyers emerge
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating cars are the safest transportation option during the pandemic, nearly 50% of people surveyed by Cars.com say they continue to rely less on mass transit and ride-sharing services. This has placed a premium on the freedom and safety car ownership provides, resulting in a new wave of first-time car buyers.
Of Americans who previously did not own a car, nearly 20% are considering purchasing one. Even as consumers return to life outside the house, the primary mode of transport will continue to be the car.
The driveway becomes the dealer lot
In 2021, at-home delivery of vehicles and trading in vehicles from the driveway will become more mainstream. Last year, 57% of car buyers conducted the bulk of their vehicle purchases online, and several opted for contactless home delivery from their local dealership.
Since April 2020, more than 10 million vehicles...