China Insights

E-hailing puts brakes on traditional mobility

Zoe Dong

Senior Research Manager

Auto 31.03.2017 / 11:30

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New global study reveals that many consumers are giving up private cars for car sharing in the world’s biggest cities.

Kantar TNS conducted a major new study for Le BIPE, a strategic consultancy firm, of how 24,000 people travel around urban areas. The study, 2017 Mobility Study, found that 75% of urban citizens are now using apps to organise or guide their journey.

Apps are used for general navigation assistance, optimising the cost or convenience of a journey and increasingly for hailing taxis and ride sharing.

Over a quarter of people (27%) drive less today than they did six months ago (rising to 29% in Shanghai, 34% in Paris, 37% in São Paulo and 43% in Mumbai and 24% in New York). One in three non-car owners also say that car ownership is an expensive hassle as opposed to the definition of success it once was.

Traffic congestion is identified as another barrier to private car use in cities, highlighted by the fact that 88% of city dwellers still need to travel from A to B for daily activities, usually at “rush hour”. Overall, 22% of non-car owners blame this as a reason for not having their own vehicle, rising to 40% in New York.

But in a world where 70% of the global population is predicted to live in cities by 2050, it is the lure of connectivity rather than negatives of private car use which is having the greatest impact on how people choose to travel.

Le BIPE and Kantar TNS found that three quarters of urban citizens now use apps to organise or guide their journey. The ability to access a “pay per ride” with one tap on a phone app has revolutionised global mobility; since abandoning their cars, 22% of people have adopted shared services as their most popular substitution.

Of these, car clubs like ZipCar are taking cities by storm; 13% of urban citizens now regularly ride share and up to half of “millennials” in cities like London use e-hail services like Uber and Gett at least once a month.

Remy Pothet, Partner at Le BIPE added: “The advent of new technology has opened up more people’s minds to different mobility solutions. In Europe, for example, the use of carpooling expanded from 22% to 29% between 2013 and 2016, while professional car sharing increased from 4% to 7%. Based on our expertise on mobility forecasting, we anticipate a growing network of on-demand cars which will drive the cost of ride-hailing services lower than ever. The result will be that consumers will be increasingly mobile as their demand is increasing as a result of lower costs. The arrival of the autonomous car will increase this phenomenon further.”

Isabelle Rio-Lopes, Global Mobility Expert for Kantar TNS, commented: “Technology is forever changing the way people navigate their cities. Car manufacturers and mobility players need to plan for this to keep ahead of the curve. For the most part, automotive brands have been quick to respond to this trend – with the likes of GM, VW and Toyota all investing in ride hailing apps. We’ve also seen several brands like BMW, Ford and Renault invest millions in car sharing projects”.

Source: Kantar TNS Siinotrust

Editor's notes

* About Le BIPE

Le BIPE is a strategic consultancy firm founded in France and specialised in economic research and forecasts, modelling and big data, socio-economic outlook and future trends analysis. BIPE supports companies across a wide variety of sectors all over the world, to help them take decisions in the short to long term, from the largest international groups to more local companies.

Le BIPE founded the World Mobility Observatory in 2008 in a bid to understand and anticipate the future of global mobility in cities around the world. Kantar TNS became partners in 2014 to incorporate the widest ever customer survey dedicated to mobility behaviours into the WMO, conducted across 30 cities in 18 countries among 24 000 participants.

* To reach the author, or to know more information, data and analysis of China's auto market, please contact us.

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