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Automotive industry – negative stimulus to push the development in the right direction

The automotive industry also received a stimulus to continue the trend accepted a few years ago, that is to introduce a larger number of EV models on the market. When looking at modern channels of selling cars, we can observe an increased interest in electric vehicles, higher than what this sector had seen before.

Corona virus Corona virus – structural changes in transportation

In an effort to reduce the spread of VOVID-19, a number of restrictions have been introduced. They led to significant changes in virtually all areas of our daily life. One of these changes was how we move around. The following trends have been observed:

  • Reduced personal travel;
  • Private transport preferred over public transport;
  • Reduced scale of paid transport of people;
  • Reduced number of car registrations.

We can quickly agree that some of the trends above will be temporary, while we may expect, at least in the mid-term perspective, that reduced trust to public transport may continue.

For many years now, cities have been implementing proper policies of promoting public transport aimed at reducing car traffic.

By imposing relevant restrictions, car traffic has been limited in city centers. Data that is being collected in cities will help us analyze the scale of how private cars affect the environment. No matter what the results will be, the shift in drivetrain technology can’t be reversed.

Response of the automotive industry

The car industry is struggling on two fronts now – one is the climate pressure and the other is transformation of the sales channels in this so called new reality.

Climate change is often associated by the society with increased traffic according to the results of Citizen support for climate actions survey from 2019. 37% of EU citizens take actions to tackle climate change by reducing the use of private cars. The result for Poland is 17% while in Germany as much as 56%.

Responding to the climate issue, the automotive industry turned to the development of electric vehicles.

The share of EVs in car sales in Poland in 2019 was only 0.3%. Within the EU it was 2% and in Holland as much as 14.8% (source: ACEA). In Poland the largest EV purchases were made by carsharing operators. This low share of EV sales must be seen as just the beginning of change. Watching the market closely you can see the trend developing. Here are some examples: at the start of 2020 Kia announced they would introduce 11 electric models by 2025, in 2019 a similar announcement was made by Toyota and in June 2020 drafts of two patent applications were released in the internet. In march 2020 Volkswagen announced they would give up manufacturing gas-powered engines and focus on electric vehicles. These bare only selected examples and analyzing the strategy of all automotive companies the conclusion can only be that the future is electric.

The other issue – the problem of sales in the COVID reality – has been addressed by adjusting the dealer system to the new reality. We have seen numerous actions of dealerships in recent months aimed at improving customer service. What’s worth noting in particular is the development of online sales channels, online servicing support, massive internet information campaigns and deformalizing purchasing processes. Selling cars online has been discussed for years, especially in the light of many other „traditional” industries having gone online long before. Yet, it was the recent moths that gave the industry the right push to intensify their actions in that respect.

As a consequence of entering online sales channels it is now possible to identify potential EV buyers by running internet user preferences surveys and to reach those who are interested in electric drives. Running the portal of dalejprosto.pl, which sells cars online, we analyze types of requests for new vehicles. While the share of EV sales may be 0.3% in Poland, as specified above, every 15th request made on our portal is about an electric vehicles. That can be seen as a positive prognosis for the development of the sector even in Poland. It is even more significant with the expected turn to private cars we are observing with the society.

Marcin Gałczyński Founder and CEO of the innovative portal dalejprosto.pl

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