Covid fuels personal car sales, taxi fleets affected - Times of India

Covid fuels personal car sales, taxi fleets affected – Times of India


NEW DELHI; The Indian car buyer is coming back in the market. Long after cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber took away customers and so did the rapidly evolving public transport infrastructure, personal mobility has made a comeback, courtesy fears over Covid and spread of the virus. Strong need for social distancing during two years of coronavirus has seen buyers going for personal mobility, evident from fall in share of fleet car sales, comprising of cab aggregators, and other taxis, officials from top companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Mercedes-Benz told TOI .
Armed with fatter disposable incomes due to the money saved during the Covid period (there was negligible travel/holiday or shopping spend during lockdowns), the Indian buyer is going for new cars like never before, especially from a wide range of SUVs that straddle across price points, starting from around Rs 7 lakh and going up to Rs 1 crore, and even more. Personal car demand has been up by record numbers, the only constraint being the shortage of semiconductors, which has resulted in a long waiting period for new deliveries.

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“Personal mobility is back, and very strongly,” Shashank Srivastava, director (sales & marketing) at Maruti Suzuki, told TOI . The revival in sales of personal cars has seen a decline in share of taxis and that of Ola and Uber fleet. According to Srivastava, against a 7% share in total passenger vehicles sales in 2018-19 (around 2. 3 lakh units), the share of fleet fell to just over 2% in 2021-22 (a little over 67,500 units).
The contraction for fleets happened over a period of around three years, which also saw the share of those buying an additional car at home go up. While pre-Covid, a family bought one primary car for home, while depending on taxis for doing other errands, the pandemic completely changed the trend. Also, after pandemic people are going for aspirational buying, especially for SUVs.


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