India leads Asia-Pacific in mobility dynamics

Murali Gopalan Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018


Ford survey shows that ride-hailing apps are on the rise

The mobility landscape in India is changing rapidly going by a recent Asia-Pacific survey carried out by Ford Motor Company. It clearly shows that the country is ahead of the rest when it comes to use of ride-hailing apps and car-sharing programmes.

Both categories saw the largest usage of all markets surveyed across Asia-Pacific. Over four in 10 respondents said they use ride-hailing apps more than they did a year earlier, and one in three had the same thing to say about car-sharing programmes.

Online survey

The online survey was conducted by GlobalWebIndex on behalf of Ford and involved 12,619 consumers across India, China, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. On an average, there were 1,050 respondents each spread across these 12 regions.

The survey showed that 47 per cent of respondents in India used a private car, while 42 per cent opted for ride-hailing apps. While car-sharing programmes took up 33 per cent, they trailed marginally behind taxis (35 per cent) and buses (34 per cent). Trains, trams and two-wheelers were tied at 31 per cent, while the motorcycle taxi component was 21 percent.

One in four Indian respondents said they regularly use car-sharing programmes to get around, the highest reported in any of the markets surveyed. Of transportation modes that have become less popular, buses took the biggest hit with more than one in four respondents saying they used the bus less than they did a year earlier. Next in the ‘less popular’ list were taxis and trams/trains.

The survey also showed that Indian respondents were the third most-likely to take more than one form of transportation on a single trip every day (44 percent), with an additional 25 percent saying they did so more than twice a week. Only three per cent said they never used multimodal transportation.

At one level, the findings should not be too surprising considering the rapid proliferation of the Olas and Ubers in daily life across India. Their growing influence has only convinced automakers that they need to think of smarter offerings to entice customers into buying them. This is the only way to survive in an environment where young Indians are increasingly steering clear of vehicle ownership which is typically accompanied by cumbersome add-ons like parking charges, fuel costs, driver salaries and safety.

Across Asia-Pacific, use of ride-hailing apps is on the rise too with 32 per cent of respondents reporting increased use over a year earlier. Apart from India, China (33 percent) was the main driver of the upward trend, while Australia (12 per cent), Taiwan (nine per cent) and New Zealand (seven per cent) reported the lowest increase in use.

Car-sharing programmes are also becoming more popular, with one in five respondents in the region saying their participation had increased from a year earlier. Indian respondents were the most likely to report higher use of car sharing at 33 per cent followed by China (19 per cent) and Malaysia (16 per cent).

Ford Smart Mobility

According to John Larsen, Director, Ford Smart Mobility, Ford Asia Pacific, smartphones are rapidly becoming a part of people’s lives on roads. This is where Ford Smart Mobility finds innovative ways to deliver smarter and more convenient access to mobility options. It represents the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, data and analytics.

The rationale for Ford Smart Mobility stems from four global megatrends: explosive population growth, an expanding middle class, air quality and public health concerns, and changing customer attitudes and priorities. As people rethink what it means to own a car in an increasingly crowded world, Ford is investigating car-sharing programmes around the globe, including undertaking a research project in Bengaluru.

For the Bengaluru experiment, the company partnered with ZoomCar to explore car-sharing in small communities like neighbourhoods, families or workplaces. Data collected by specially equipped Ford EcoSports will be used to analyse driver behaviour and information about how the vehicle was used. This will help develop new models for vehicle scheduling and ownership management within car-sharing platforms.

Published on May 11, 2016

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