Buying a new car: what is the impact of long waiting times on buying decisions?

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What percentage is in a different make/model? What percentage ends up canceling it completely?

BHPian gngdev recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I was looking for a car to replace our first generation Ford Figo that we sold on February 22. I was mainly looking for C-SUVs and finalized Nexon EV.

We tested many cars during the prequalification process, and incidentally, we got a VW Taigun to replace my parents’ 2009 Dzire Zxi as well. This story is documented here.

Now I was waiting for my Nexon EV to be assigned and the EV Max was launched. I changed my reservation to the Max and continued to wait. As I waited for the car to be assigned, I started wondering if I really needed a new car right now? (I could say that the recession signals around the world were a factor in having this thought). I thought about it for several days and finally canceled the reservation 1 week ago because I could live without a new car. Today I received a call from my SA stating that the car is allocated and if I wish to reconsider. I unenthusiastically confirmed that the decision to cancel is final.

This got me thinking about how long wait times typically affect the buying decision?

What percentage is in a different make/model? What percentage ends up canceling it completely? I think impulsive decisions can be affected a bit because the head will have a bit more time to convince the heart that it might be better to let go.

If I had had the car allocated earlier, I would have proceeded with the purchase. I even got the forms from the banks to apply for the loan. The VW Taigun purchase process was so quick that we had the car delivered within 5 days after the test drive, so we didn’t have time to rethink decisions. Eager to hear about the experiences of prominent members of this forum.

Here is what GTO should say about it:

I see a lot of Team-BHP posts where the original choice was dropped due to long wait times (eg XUV700). I have also seen many posts where a model has been picked up due to fast delivery.

My expectations of my personal car are very high. Therefore, if I really really like a car, I will wait for it even more than a year. After all, if I’m going to drive it for 10 years, I won’t mind a year of waiting. I will just be using my existing car a little longer than expected.

Here is what BHPian Raghu M should say about it:

Simple, I have the money and if I’m willing to pay, I should buy a product right away. I’m not a fan of wait times. Although 2-3 months sounds good, more than a year (example – 7OO and Thar) is ridiculous. The company loses many prospects during this period. I also don’t buy electronics online that have a time window in which sales are made. If you are the manufacturer, you must be aware that every customer is important. I understand the chip shortage problem, but it can’t work forever. Why are companies taking bookings that they can’t fill in a few weeks? I don’t understand.

I learned from someone that the waiting period for 7OO is well over 18 months. The world changes in 6 months. Markets were crazy in February/March and now they have plunged. Technology changes overnight. Personally, I wouldn’t go for a car that isn’t available in a few weeks. Many people change their minds in the meantime. They may see a better product, completely change their decision, or even need the money from the reservation for some urgent need.

Here is what BHPian Shreyans_Jain should say about it:

I won’t wait for a car more than a few weeks. A few months at most. We’re talking about mainstream cars, not something bespoke or made to order. If the manufacturer can’t sort out his production, that’s up to him.

I have seen that timeouts have become a ploy to push buyers towards more profitable models or variants. Want a Fortuner 4×2 manual? “Sarre 8 months of waiting. But if you upgrade to GR-S, it can be made available in 15 days.” A Celerio CNG will require a 6 month wait, but the gasoline AMT is available tomorrow. Base model Kia Sonet, they will try every trick in the book not to take the reservation and push you to the higher ones. It is as if some models are created for purely marketing purposes (starting at xx.y lakhs) or as a legal and official way to charge extra premium for faster delivery.

Here is what BHPian in depth should say about it:

My 2 cents:

  1. There is no harm in waiting, as long as the delay is reasonable. Typically, one starts planning a car properly around 6 months ago, so 4-6 months is ideally the maximum tolerance. Anyway, it seems ridiculous when I think I have to wait 18 months for the car!!
  2. Many things change during the waiting period. For example, prices can climb beyond expectations, so a monthly revaluation is a must.
  3. New launches/facelifts happen all the time. A car that hadn’t been considered before can suddenly appear valuable.
  4. Needs/preferences may change. I was a sedan lover but converted to an SUV, simply because nothing in the sedan segment appeared VFM (compared to SUVs).
  5. 18 months is enough to get married and even reproduce. Thus, a Thar reservation could suddenly become that of Carens, with or without your agreement.
  6. Slowly but surely we are moving towards electrification. Don’t especially reconsider if the waiting period is in years.

Check out BHPian’s comments for more ideas and information.

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