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mobility lockdown

Mobility Lockdown: Public Transport and Automotive Industry

Mobility Lockdown across Europe, drops in car manufacturing sales, little propensity to use public transport. These are the effects that the Coronavirus has had on the Automotive Industry and on consumers’ habits. A trend that can be monitored through data to better approach the phase after the crisis.

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Mobility Lockdown

How will life be after quarantine? This was the question of the majority of Italians locked up at home. Between bans, masks, self-certifications, citizens dream of the vaccine against Covid-19 and the return to “real life”.

According to a study, more than 20% of Italians have not left the house in the quarantine months (source: Espresso). Italy has been the first European country where the COVID-19 epidemic has triggered an unprecedented and escalating series of restrictions on travel and individual mobility of citizens. Restrictions that step by step are arrived all over Europe and to the country affected by this virus.

A research carried out by Google and Apple data has highlighted that it is possible to measure how the mobility of people has decreased in the past months in various European countries and in the United States (source: La Repubblica).

The research was conducted using Google aggregated and anonymous data reports on the evolution of the use of means of transport and by Apple’s “Mobility Trends Reports”, a file that shows the variations in the volumes of requests for indications road traffic in the last few months.

The lockdown has been very diversified between countries. In Italy and Spain, mobility has almost disappeared, a sign that the measures have been very stringent.

The USA, Germany, and the Netherlands experience much fewer declines. In particular, mobility to the workplace drops by more than 60 percent in Italy and Spain, 38 percent in the United States, and only 29 percent in Germany and 24 percent in the Netherlands. Italy and Spain are the countries where the impact on mobility has been bigger, while the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands show a less significant drop. This can be seen both from the Apple data that divide mobility for travel by car, through public transport and on foot, and from Google data that show the drop in visits by type of destination. 

The ranking of countries based on the impact of COVID-19 on mobility confirms that where the lockdown measures have been more severe and the pandemic has manifested itself with greater intensity, the reduction in mobility has been greater. In particular, it emerges that these countries recorded declines of almost double compared to those with less stringent measures.

It is not possible to attribute entirely the decrease in mobility to the introduction of restrictive measures because it also depends on multiple behavioral factors such as the citizens’ reaction to the spread of the pandemic and their change of habits, but such a significant difference suggests that lockdown played a decisive role.

Public transport and Automotive Industry

Obviously, mobility by public transport has decreased in favor of private cars. The car is seen as the safest means of transport to defend against the coronavirus, unlike public transport or car-sharing, which are subject to sanitation processes.

Despite this preference, the Automotive Sector is experiencing difficulties due to the pandemic. In Italy as in the whole world, factories are stopped and the dealers are closed. The automotive sector is one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19, which risks to affect national and international GDP and to create a large number of unemployed. The entire automotive sector creates 14 million jobs across Europe, representing 7% of the continent’s GDP. In Italy, in March 2020 there was 85% less of registrations, compared to the same month in 2019. (source: Gazzetta Motori)

The auto sector crisis is not only Italian; once the coronavirus has started to spread like wildfire, production stops have also begun in Europe, due to the lack of components produced in China. The Italian percentage marks the negative record in Europe. In France and Spain the drop was 72.2 and 69.3%. Heavy, but more contained, the impact on the other two large markets in the EU area, namely on Germany (-37.7%) and on the United Kingdom (-44.4%). (source: Corriere della Sera)

In such a context, it becomes difficult and quite impossible, to launch the new models announced. The cancellation of Geneva Salon and the complete blockade of the market caused several highly-anticipated models to slide to a date to be defined.

An investigation carried out by the AutoScout24 Center – Europe’s leading car and motorbike ad site – reveals important positive and trusted signs for the used car market and the overall automotive sector, in the reopening phase.

The blocking situation has also highlighted a greater propensity to buy used cars and the importance of digital platforms, because they allow buyers to continue their search for a car and they give the possibility to retailers to be visible online always and ready when the restrictions end. Many users indicate in the car the preferred means of transport in Phase 2, with a greater interest in diesel. (source: AnsaMotori).

Confidence Index and Automotive Observatory

According to data released by analysts, the automotive sector will, therefore, undergo a leap in phase 2, buffering the losses suffered in the first quarter. 

So, what better moment than this, for Car Manufacturers and dealers, to keep the sector monitored and always controlled and to be able to understand consumer trends and be responsive at the right time?

An important moment to study the market, study the consumers, their fears, their emotions and formulate strategies. To afford all this situation, a useful instrument for companies could be the CTI – Consumer trust index. As already seen in various articles on our blog,

Consumer Trust Index is the medium that companies can use to understand the market and to significantly reduce their losses. It is a day-by-day indicator of Italian consumers’ trust, emotions and propensity to spend, as a way out to overcome the Coronavirus emergency.

C-Trust Index can be read as a global overview and it can be declined by industry. As Global CTI, it is a nation-by-nation index that takes into account the general perception of consumer trust in the whole economy.

As Industry CTI, it shows valuable insights like performances, top trends, and personas, applied to specific market segments, such as FSI, Fashion or Food & Beverage, to track the daily trust level among users and fans. It can also perfectly applied to the Automotive Industry.

The Automotive Manufacturing Consumer Trust Index is designed to support companies in understanding the market and the context they operate in and to potentially set-up ad-hoc strategies and effective actions.

It is a  real-time indicator of Italian consumers’ trust, emotions and propensity to purchase vehicles and also their willingness to approach mobility topics.

CTI offers real-time insight, it can be declined to a geographical area and market segments and it is based on a non-solicited, reliable methodology, with the most powerful Artificial Intelligence in the industry of market research. Last but not least, it is extremely easy to read and to interpret.

We complement the Automotive Manufacturing Consumer Trust index with specific views of four main aspects:

  1. Understand the consumers’ sentiment and emotions towards spending within the sector, especially by buying or leasing new cars;
  2. Highlight what are the segments within the automotive industry that are mostly being discussed and how the purchase experience is changing (physical experience vs digital);
  3. Provide an outlook over the trends in mobility and the sentiment that people display towards different means of transport;
  4. Monitor the sentiment towards the reopening of companies within the industry after the major outbreak and lockdown.

An additional index and important tool to make a contribution to the Italian economy, to give value to companies but above all to give data-driven answers to each industry, in order to best carry out their approach to the crisis.

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