Following the news that Uber plans to launch services in more cities and expand its Auto and Moto offerings across existing markets in India;
Animesh Kumar, Director of Automotive and Travel & Tourism Consulting at GlobalData, a leading research and consulting company, offers his view:
“Through the expansion of services and network, Uber is eyeing long-term gains. Currently, shared mobility segment is witnessing strong headwinds due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Customers in the target segment are opting for personal mobility due to concerns regarding safety and hygiene. Office commute and airport travel have also declined significantly.
“The outlook of shared mobility segment is certainly not promising in the short-term. However, that must not discourage market participants to prepare for the future. Once the world overcomes the COVID-19 pandemic, shared mobility would certainly bounce back. Cost, low-utilization of personal vehicles during weekdays, traffic congestions and parking issues would again attract customers towards shared mobility solutions like ride-hailing, ridesharing as well as car and bike sharing. In the long-term, cars would cease to be a product and would become a service instead. People would rely on a seamless mobility ecosystem that would include robust public transportation and shared mobility solutions. Personal vehicles may be used for the first and last mile connectivity. It would also impact product segmentation as the ‘office car’ segment would decline, and people would opt for other types of vehicles for weekend travel and holidays.
“As the shared mobility segment would indeed bounce back strongly, players must use this downtime as a ‘strategic timeout’ and plan for the future. Expanding the service portfolio and geographical footprint would help the players bounce back strongly. Shared mobility market participants should derive learnings from the two Southeast Asian giants Grab and Gojek, which have created a wide portfolio of services that ensures high utilization of vehicles and drivers/riders.”