Urbanisation changing mobility

Speaking at IBIS ME 2018 today, Eric Devos, president and CEO of GiPA Group, said that the urbanisation of the world is having a significant impact on the aftermarket industry, and would have an even more significant impact in the coming years.

GiPA has been researching the sector for more than three decades, gathering and interpreting data from Europe, America, Asia and Africa.

Eric began by pointing out the growth of the global population, saying that there are already 7.63 billion people in the world and every day the population swells by 244,000 people; that equates to 96 million more people per year, or a new country larger than Germany.

The southern hemisphere is driving this growth, with a 25% increase in the last 20 years compared to a 19% increase in the northern hemisphere during the same period.

The vast majority of these people are now living in cities, and migration to urban areas will continued. Eric said that the number of big cities in the world (a population of between five and 10 million) would mushroom from 45 in 2017 to 63 by 2030.

This convergence of people presented seven major problems: noise, pollution, cleanliness, traffic, lack of green space, parking, and incivility. Out of all of these though, traffic was considered the number one problem by 61% of people.

To cope with this congestion, and to improve safety on the roads, the major cities were starting now to introduce more stringent regulations, with initiatives in one mega city copied by another. For example, Mexico City bans the use of cars for several days a year, London is introducing low emission zones from 2019, while Paris is banning diesel engines in 2024 and petrol cars in 2030. Elsewhere, Shanghai is introducing free registration for electric vehicles to reduce pollution, Moscow is developing public transport links to reduce the reliance on private vehicles, and Beijing is limiting the number of new registrations.

GiPA then asked how ride hailing and car sharing solutions were changing the landscape, and said that transport habits were changing. He pointed out that, worryingly for the traditional players in this area, solutions were now being provided by new mobility companies such as Uber and Didi.

‘This is here already,’ Eric said, ‘and it generates a very big challenge for the car industry.’

He added that with changing consumer habits around ownership and mobility, the worldwide car parc will start to decrease indefinitely from 2022 onwards. For example, there will be 200,000 fewer cars in Paris in 2030 than there were in 2017.

And Eric warned those companies serving the automotive aftermarket against thinking they would remain largely unaffected as there would still be enough vehicles on the roads. He explained that while there may still be plenty of vehicles, their usage will change.

He asked, ‘What will happen if more and more drivers use public transport during the week? There will be far fewer accidents, far fewer tyre changes.’

Eric concluded, ‘The only way to grow today is to be the best.’

Supported by lead partners AkzoNobel and Audatex, and partners 3M AutoMillennium Group, Spanesi and Symach, IBIS ME 2018’s theme is ‘A shared vision; developing partnerships through collaboration’