Mobia: ‘EV premium has more impact than LEZ zones’

According to market research ordered by Mobia, the Belgian car buyer will be more impacted by a premium to buy an electric car than by the eventual expansion of LEZ zones.

Mobia, the overarching association of car sector federations Febiac (new car market), Traxio (second-hand car market), and Renta (car leasing and renting), has done some market research regarding the buying intentions of the Belgian car owners/drivers.

The January ache

Although there is no real motor show in Brussels in January, the first month of the year is when the Belgian car owner has an aching feeling to look for a new car. All car-selling organizations are rolling out special ‘salon conditions’ to lure people into buying another car (preferably new, but also second-hand). For individual car buyers, January is the preferred month to buy a new car).

Usually, the first month represents one-third of all sales recorded during the year where individual buyers are concerned. As a result of the pandemic and the shortages and delivery problems caused by it, the market share of those individual buyers in the Belux has shrunk to 33%. The car business wants this share to rise again, and this January should be the perfect time for it.

“January is the ideal moment for the individual buyer to purchase a new car,” says Febiac CEO Andreas Cremer. “Car factories are churning out cars at full force again, and there are no supply shortages anymore. The importers are ready to propose interesting deals for stock cars and new-to-order vehicles. That’s why we advise everyone to visit the showrooms and discover the car of their dreams.”

“Recent research by Traxio showed that the consumer is now more than ready to buy a new car,” says Traxio spokesman Filip Rylant.”Our research also shows that the showroom is still the most critical information channel in the buying process.”

“That’s why the whole garage sector is ready to give professional advice, keeping in mind the user profile of the potential client and its budget available,” Rylant adds.

Premium has a more significant impact

Until now, the growing success of BEVs on the Belux market is 90% due to the professional market. Individual buyers haven’t shown much interest… yet. But this can change as Flanders has foreseen a budget of €20 million to stimulate the individual buyer into purchasing a fully electric car.

Research by Traxio has shown that this premium positively influences the decision to purchase a BEV eventually, with 37% of the respondents admitting that this is a fact that they take into account; 20% of the respondents didn’t know what to do, and 33% stayed convinced of not buying electric.

If you add to the 37% above that are influenced by the 10% who were already convinced to buy one, we see that almost 50% of individual buyers in the Belux are now considering the change to (pure) electric propulsion. That’s a landslide when speaking about individual buyers buying intentions.

It is also far more than the percentage of people influenced in their purchasing preferences by low-emission zones (LEZ). Half of the respondents answered that LEZ has absolutely no influence on their buying intentions, while only 19% admitted to thinking about going electric – new (13%) or second-hand (6%) – as a reaction to enlarged or strengthened LEZ zones.

17% of the respondents thought about buying another (more recent) second-hand, and 7% decided to sell their car and use other types of transport from now on – the same percentage thought of buying a new ICE car.

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