March 14th, 2012 by Oliver Wyman
Urban dwellers in Western Europe and Asia would seriously consider a change in their primary mode of transport – including abandoning auto ownership – according to a recently released study by Oliver Wyman and the ESB Business School Reutlingen (Germany).
The “Future of Mobility” found that, if fuel prices rose significantly by 2030, approximately 77% of the survey’s 3000 respondents would change their mobility behavior by switching to a smaller car, switching to an electric car, or abandoning car ownership entirely and replacing it with a mixture of transport modes.
Respondents in Shanghai (91%) and France (82%) were particularly open to changing their mobility patterns. High-income respondents (71%) were the least likely demographic segment to consider a switch.
The Oliver Wyman/ESB survey in Germany, France, the UK, Shanghai, and Singapore asked consumers to predict how their transport behaviour would change under a “sustainable mobility” scenario for 2030 that envisions €4 per litre for fuel, more traffic congestion in individual transport, better-quality public transport offerings, and the possibility of planning multimodal trips using smartphone apps.
Thirty percent of all survey respondents said they were willing to give up car ownership completely under this scenario, led by students (44%), young adults (36%), and urban residents (35%).
“The study findings confirm that innovative mobility services such as car sharing are more and more important,” says Matthias Bentenrieder, a partner in Oliver Wyman’s automotive consulting practice.
“Young people don’t place as much importance on owning a car as previous generations, and the urban population is more open to innovative mobility concepts that use the smartphone as a control center to seamlessly combine mobility elements. The study findings also suggest that Asian megacities – with their high share of young, technology-oriented inhabitants and governments willing to make significant investments in public transport – will likely be a proving ground for new, IT-assisted mobility options.”
Regarding potential effects of mobility trends on the auto industry, Bentenrieder adds “developing and manufacturing cars will remain the automakers’ core business for a long time to come, but they must become more experienced in operating vehicle fleets based on flexible-use models and, in particular, they must network their vehicles with other mobility services. ‘Ease of use’ will be decisive for market success.”
He said “manufacturers don’t have to offer all mobility options, but in tomorrow’s multimodal world it is important that they position themselves as the key contact in the mobility chain with attractive vehicles that fit the reinvented role of the car.”