|More personal car trips, fewer shared rides post-COVID-19, survey finds|
The auto industry can expect to see a lot of dramatic changes in consumer behavior regarding mobility in a post-COVID-19 world.
That's according to a survey of more than 25,000 U.S. customers by the IBM Institute for Business Value. The survey, conducted in April and published last week, found that personal behavior and preferences for transportation – along with retail, work and event attendance – are likely to change as a result of the pandemic.
On the mobility front, many consumers indicated they plan to reduce their use of – or forgo entirely – ride-sharing and public transportation.
More than half of people surveyed who use ride-hailing apps and services said they would either use these less or stop using these services.
More than 20 percent of respondents who now regularly use public transit, including buses, subways or trains, said they no longer would. An additional 28 percent said they will likely use public transportation less often.
Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft have seen demand for their services come to nearly a screeching halt from the COVID-19 pandemic, and have attempted to change course by expanding their other services in the U.S. Uber is expanding food-delivery service Uber Eats by accepting phone orders, and Lyft launched pilot delivery program Essential Deliveries.
Before the pandemic, there were indications that use of shared mobility would increase steadily, but IBM expects that trend to wane.
More than 17 percent of people surveyed said they intend to use personal vehicles more as a result of COVID-19, with approximately 1 in 4 saying they will use them as their exclusive mode of transportation going forward.
The pandemic has already started to impact investments in mobility. Ford Motor Co. has postponed its autonomous-vehicle commercial services until 2022, and General Motors shuttered its Maven car-sharing service.
"The study provides further evidence that COVID-19 is permanently altering U.S. consumer behavior," said Jesus Mantas, senior managing partner at IBM Services. "These organizations need to quickly adapt their business models to serve the new consumer behaviors in order to survive and thrive."
-- Alexa St. John