Attendees of AASA’s virtual Global Summit titled, “Global Recovery in a Post-Covid-19 World,” got incredible insight into everything from Covid-19 to the recent battle of Main Street vs. Wall Street, where novice stock traders gathered virtually to drive prices up on everything from GameStop to silver.
How Covid-19 has affected automotive trends has been surprising, to say the least.
“We’ve had supply chain disruption of a sort we’ve never had before…. A decrease in international travel probably unrivaled since the world wars,” said Paul McCarthy, AASA president & COO, in his opening remarks.
But, as we’ve moved through the pandemic, the impact on miles driven by Covid-19 has narrowed. “It’s shocking how well miles driven has done,” McCarthy said. In October 2020, he points out, miles driven is off just over 5 percent, according to stats from several sources, including Roland Berger and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Citing eMarketer as a source, McCarthy pointed out that parts sales via ecommerce channels surged in 2020 during the pandemic, notching a 23.5 percent increase over 2019.
McCarthy said the risk of infection has become the key deciding factor in deciding the mode of transport, whether it’s for business or personal reasons. And because of this, private vehicles are winning out. A McKinsey & Co. report found that 32 percent of consumers will travel more frequently by private car; 40 percent of consumers will travel less by air than before the pandemic; and 32 percent of consumers will travel by train less than before.
And there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is pent-up demand to travel. (I know I can feel it!)
Dr. Parker Hudson gave an engaging, front-line discussion titled, “Covid-19: Pandemic lessons from Year 1.” Hudson is Director, Covid Testing & Tracing, at Dell Medical School at University of Texas – Austin and is the Texas governor’s chief medical advisor for the state’s Strike Force to Open Texas. He provided an overview of everything from how effective certain masks are, how Covid-19 makes you ill, to what our ability to travel internationally will be at the end of the pandemic.
“It really becomes a discussion of your personal risks, your vaccination status, the types of things you’re going to be doing when you’re traveling,” Hudson said. If you’re able to maintain privacy, you have high-quality PPE and you’ve been vaccinated, your risk of contracting Covid-19 is very low, he said.
AASA Global Summit continues today.
More details about the AASA Global Summit:
Followup: I wrote recently how a global semiconductor shortage was affecting vehicle production. Now Ford says the problem will cause the automaker to slash vehicle output in the first quarter by up to 20 percent, according to a story in today’s Wall Street Journal.
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