Press Release

Ride-hailing’s popularity shows how quickly ‘shared-mobility’ trends can rise and threaten auto-industry business models, according to international AlixPartners survey

January 2018

New York -- Consumers’ knowledge and use of ride-hailing and other “shared-mobility” services are quickly transforming transportation around the world, which in turn could lead to a transformation of the traditional auto industry faster than many expect. That’s according to a survey of more than 5,000 consumers in major cities in seven key automotive markets—China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States—looking at ride-hailing, car-sharing and other transportation services released today by AlixPartners, the global consulting firm.

The broad-based survey offers important insights into the impacts that vehicle-sharing of various kinds could have in the future, both for consumers and for the companies that aim to serve them.

Among the key findings:

  • Both awareness and usage of ride-hailing is highest in China, where 99% of respondents say they know of it and 61% have tried it. China also has the highest levels of expected increases in usage in the year ahead, with 44% saying they’ll use ride-hailing more. Meanwhile, awareness of ride-hailing is second highest in France, at 97%, and in the U.S., it stands at an also-high 86%.

  • The popularity of shared-mobility services in general has already led many users to delay the purchase of their own vehicles. For instance, in the European countries surveyed, between 39% and 64% of respondents say car-sharing has led them to avoid or postpone a vehicle purchase. Meanwhile, in the U.S., 21% of ride-hailing users say that the availability of services such as Uber and Lyft have allowed them to delay or avoid a vehicle purchase, while an even higher percentage of car-sharing users, 29%, say the same about the availability of services such as Zipcar, Car2go and Maven.

  • Among those who have reservations about shared-mobility services, cost is the biggest issue, with 36% of respondents internationally saying they would use car-sharing or ride-hailing more if the services were less expensive. Other concerns about car-sharing included the lack of availability of higher-quality vehicles (identified by 30% of respondents internationally), while more price transparency and better screening of drivers were the top concerns regarding ride-hailing (identified by 26% and 24%, respectively, of respondents internationally).

  • Many consumers said in the survey they are comfortable with “robotaxis,” or ride-hailing vehicles that are autonomous. For instance, in China, 62% of respondents say they would be comfortable in a robotaxi, and among U.S. respondents, 29% of respondents say they would be comfortable.   

Mark Wakefield, global co-head of the automotive and industrials practice at AlixPartners, said: “Shared mobility, especially ride-hailing, is transforming how people around the world use vehicles—including, critically, whether they’re willing to continue to pay for a very expensive asset that for most sits unused for the majority of any given day. Over time, we expect these trends to have a growing, and perhaps dramatic, impact on personal-vehicle ownership rates, meaning that both the traditional auto industry and new entrants alike need to start adapting quickly.”

About the survey

The AlixPartners survey was conducted May 19 to June 28, 2017, depending on the country, and polled a total of 5,046 consumers in major cities in seven key automotive markets—China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States—about their awareness, usage and attitudes toward shared mobility, and its effect on their ownership of personal vehicles. The major cities by country were: China: Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan and Xi’an; France: Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris and Toulouse; Germany: Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich; Italy: Bari, Bologna, Catania, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Rome and Turin; Japan: Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo; the U.K.: Birmingham, London and Manchester; and the U.S.: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Portland, San Francisco-Oakland, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

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