The rise of urban congestion and generational shift in mindsets when it comes to car ownership have given many companies valid reasons to develop car sharing platforms, but the coronavirus pandemic has effectively stunted developments due to health risk factors.

At the Financial Times’ Digital Future of the Car webinar, PSA Group UK boss Alison Jones said that car sharing has been put on hold, given the potential health risks involved with more than one person sharing a car. “How do you sanitise a vehicle in car sharing? We will find a way, I’m sure, and we’ll see the emend and address what customers want,” she said.

On the flip side, Jones noted that the pandemic had accelerated other areas of the brand’s business, such as online car sales. This trend is evident across the family of brands – Citroën, DS, Opel, Peugeot and Vauxhall.

“Peugeot has been online since 2017. We sped up a lot of those developments [across the brands] as we went into lockdown, such as offering a virtual walk-around of a car. It’s convenient and safe, but we also know there are customers who want to touch their vehicle before they buy, and that’s where retailers come into their own and really mix that digital and physical presence,” Jones explained.

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