After years of double-digit growth, China’s auto market is slowing down. A cooling economy is one of the primary factors in the deceleration of what remains the world’s largest market for automobiles.
But other factors such as changing consumer behavior and attitudes toward cars are also at play. To better understand what China’s auto buyers think and how they behave when making one of the biggest purchases of their lives, McKinsey conducted an extensive survey of over 3,500 consumers in March.
While the enthusiasm for cars hasn’t entirely dimmed, the survey shows that Chinese car buyers are becoming more practical and less status-conscious than ever. Nearly half of the consumers surveyed see cars as necessities rather than as status symbols. Especially for consumers in high-tier cities, purchasing a new car is now just one option among many for getting around. Alternatives like buying a used car, leasing or renting, and relying on e-hailing and car-sharing services hold increasing appeal. Consumers are also pressing dealers for lower prices on cars after using digital channels to compare offers.