At the end of February, Ipsos asked 1,620 Chinese citizens about their mobility preferences – and the fear of the virus in changing their habits. Private cars jumped from 3rd to 1st place in terms of preferred means of transport, while buses and metros lost ground to a similar extent. Individually driven two-wheelers, on the other hand, maintained second place. The consulting firm Kantar came to similar conclusions as the Ipsos study. “Due to the epidemic, people will rethink how they move around in the future,” says a study on the consequences of the corona situation for the Chinese industry. This could increase the desire to buy a car.
Chinese customers rely on the safety of their own cars
Mobility in the city – that also means: little space on the subway, shared taxis, lots of people, in a limited area. In China, there are indications that the corona pandemic is increasing the desire to travel in a protected space. In a recent study by the market research institute Ipsos, two out of three respondents say that they prefer their own car to public transport. Twice as many as before the corona outbreak.
“I expect the car business to reach last year’s level in early summer.”
Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China
More than 98 percent of Volkswagen dealers have also reopened in the meantime. Among their next customers could be those who have decided to buy a car precisely because of the corona crisis – at least that is what the Ipsos study suggests.
One of the key findings: Two-thirds of all respondents who do not currently own a vehicle, want to buy a car within six months. For three out of four first-time buyers, protection against infection is a key reason for their purchase intention. In the ranking of purchase arguments, health is thus clearly ahead of motives such as being family-friendly or flexibility.