Akshay Chaturvedi, business head, ZigWheels.com
However, having set the context, I would stick my neck out to say that in the short to mid-term, these will not have any significant impact on car sales or ownerships in India. This flows from multiple reasons - India still remains the most under-penetrated country with respect to car ownership, the entire ecosystem of these services needs to stabilise, whether it's regulatory framework, security concerns or the geographical footprint.
India is an extremely value conscious market. So, while the entry level pricing of an Uber may be enticing, the moment the rates go up in future expect a lowered retention. Millions of households who would enter the middle-class in the times to come would want to cherish their ownership of a car which still symbolises more than just being a mobility need. Lastly, government thrust on infrastructure and projects like smart cities would definitely mean more cars and better ownership experience.
So, I would say that India, which anyway is fairly low on car ownership in the world (China sells as many premium/luxury cars in the country as the overall car sales in India and sells almost 11x of cars sold in India, annually), is not going to witness a decline in car sales anytime soon.
Karun Arya, communications lead, South Asia and India, Uber
For decades, the way you call for transportation, use and pay for it, has not evolved. Cab hailing services like Uber have transformed how people move around in their cities by bringing unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability to provide a safe and affordable alternative. This new alternative actually complements and improves existing infrastructure, creates thousands of jobs and ensures the overall quality of service improves.
In cities across India where you have uberGO and uberX, these are some of the most affordable options to move around, sometimes even cheaper than autos and normal taxis. When you factor in other costs for parking, insurance and maintenance, commuting with Uber can quickly become a more cost effective solution to car ownership.
By connecting people with a more affordable, high quality option, more people are re-evaluating buying new cars, which for decades has also been a sign of social standing.
Sakshi Vij, executive director, Carzonrent India (operates Myles, a self-drive car rental)
Myles is a connector between consumers who want to own cars and drive them. For the longest time, the only way to own a car was when an individual earned enough to one. Services like ours are expanding the market, allowing the consumer to experience driving, and these will be the probable customers for automobile companies.
Ranojoy Mukerji, auto expert
Cab hailing services are availed by consumers for different reasons and times, but they will not substitute it for their own car. Therefore, while such services will serve their purpose and aid in easing out transportation woes, they will not affect the car buying decisions of consumers at large.First Published : August 11, 2015