US: report points to the upcoming trials and tribulations of the auto industry image

Worldwide new vehicle deliveries are expected to jump from 70 million units in 2010 to 125 million autos by 2025, but the forecasters are now focusing mostly on the way those cars would be used and who would own them.

The McKinsey consulting firm is the latest to put its specialists on the job and their predictions are that usage and ownership scenarios might be changing swiftly – the “Urban Mobility at a Tipping Point” is a 22-page study that deals with numerous automotive trends, including in-vehicle connectivity, electrification, car sharing, ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles. All of these are seen ready to deliver a host of new possibilities for people moving around, especially when it comes to the crowded urban areas. The experts worked in Detroit, Stamford, San Francisco and Los Angeles and didn’t paint a bleak picture where only Google or Uber might prevail, instead focusing on delivering a series of interesting questions.

They do point out that individual vehicle ownership is not going to disappear. Just take a small example – the technology-mad an Francisco Bay Area, where travelling 10,700 miles per year by using ride-hailing services such as Uber or Lyft would incur costs of at least $22,000 per year –more than double the cost of financing a new vehicle. Instead, using ride-hailing services for shorter total annual distances the cost becomes highly competitive.

Another interesting service rising to preeminence now is car sharing – either done through major rental companies or the automakers themselves. McKinsey’s argument is that personal cars would not sit idle for around 90 percent of their life and instead car-shared vehicles would help lower to count of cars on the road.