Coronavirus pushes people to shun means of mass transportation, revives consumers’ interest in cars
The coronavirus pandemic has revived customers’ interest in having their own car.
The Wall Street Journal in its report said that people from Beijing to Boston are shunning public trains, trams and buses, as they fear contracting the disease from strangers in public places.
The outlet cited analysts and executives as saying that many car owners who previously had left them home in favour of shared or public transportation are now taking their own vehicles out of safety concerns.
“We have seen interest from a new kind of customer, those keen to own a personal vehicle to escape the risks of infection on public transport,” Stephan Wollenstein, chief executive of Volkswagen Group China, was quoted as saying, last week.
The WSJ citing Ford Motor Co. executives reported that they have started to re-evaluate business plans for autonomous vehicles, concerned the pandemic could lower demand for shared services for a longer term.
This sudden interest in use of private transportation is already having an impact on Uber and its ride-hailing rival, Lyft Inc, reported The WSJ. “Rider demand on our platform will be down for the foreseeable future,” Lyft CEO Logan Green had said last week.
Mike Jackson, chief executive for AutoNation Inc., the US’s largest dealership chain, while speaking of customers who are heading to showroom said they want personal space in mobility.