What does this global pandemic entail for the future of mobility in the new world?
With the world virtually in a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shocks in the economy have reached unprecedented levels. The mobility and automotive (M&A) industry is among those who have taken a huge hit.
In their article, The impact of COVID-19 on future mobility solutions, the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility discusses the effects of COVID-19 on the players within the M&A industry and what they can do to bounce back after the pandemic. Let’s look at the main points.
The most immediately noticeable setback of COVID-19 to the mobility industry can be felt as early as now. With the enforced lockdowns, there is a natural decrease in demand for vehicles. At the same time, the manufacturing process is also stunted.
Now that industry players are focused on survival, innovation takes a backseat for the meantime. This can lead to some technology advancements being pushed back.
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Once the lockdowns are over, there is also an expected change in modality preferences, with people choosing to use private vehicles, biking, and walking so that they can practice social distancing measures. Commuting might decrease if remote working setups will be retained even after the pandemic.
Regionally, the variations in mobility due to COVID-19 are expected to have some differences.
For example, in North America, investment on the electric vehicle (EV) market is expected to recover, though the rate will depend on what would happen to oil prices post-pandemic and if more states will adopt EV-friendly regulations just like California. Overall, road travel is still projected by McKinsey to be the dominant mode of transportation.
In Europe where emission regulations are already pretty strict, EV sales are expected to have a greater uptake. Shared-mobility solutions are also expected to experience an increase in demand.
Meanwhile, in China which is currently on the road to recovery, private car ownership might be subjected to stricter regulations. Just like with Europe, accelerated growth in shared mobility is also possible.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic ends, there is a need for adjustments so that the industry can take shocks better in crisis situations like this in the future.
McKinsey has four strategy recommendations for mobility players:
- Protect the safety and maintain communication with employees and customers even if operations are frozen.
- Develop a plan on how operations can pick up the pace.
- Reassess their portfolios to see which technologies are worth investing, considering the potential post-pandemic changes.
- Find new opportunities for the mobility and automotive industry.
On the whole, industry players need not worry too much about the future of mobility. After all, humans thrive in constant motion and activity. With this, the next step for mobility and automotive industry will always be to build resilience and come up with new ways to improve their service to society.
If you want to know more about the regional trends and other insights, you can read McKinsey’s full article.