Global Road Passenger Transport Industry
The global road passenger transport industry involves car rental services, the bus sector, the taxi sector and is a part of the wider road transportation sector. Industry players provide transportation options for businesses and private road travel needs. Current trends in the road passenger transportation industry include the rise of online car rental service businesses and greater demand for environmentally friendly vehicles, like hybrid or electric buses and taxis.
- The world car rental service industry is expected to generate almost $59 billion in 2015, according to research from Global Industry Analysts. The US continues to dominate the global car rental service market. US car rental service providers use aggressive marketing strategies to maintain market share. The market is divided into two categories: general and insurance replacement, with the former covering airport and non-airport segments to rent cars to both business and leisure travelers. The insurance replacement market segment rents cars to motorists having lost their vehicles because of theft, breakdowns or accidents. The number of online car rentals continues to rise, which has rental outfits leveraging the internet in a bid to offer motorists simple online booking and payment options. Natural gas, electric and hybrid low-emission cars are in high demand due to environmental awareness. Many car rental outfits are responding to this rising demand by investing in acquiring eco-friendly cars.
- The global bus industry varies depending on regional trends, demographics, per-capita passenger vehicle density, income levels and mass-transit systems investment, reports Freedonia. Global bus demand is expected to record yearly growth of almost 4.5% through 2014 to exceed 423,000 units. Growth will be fuelled by growing demand in North America, pointing to recovery in the wake of the economic downturn. Other countries such as India and China are expected to record continued growth, without too-adverse an effect due to the economic recession. Developed Western markets are benefiting from consumer efforts to cut down on spending, on fuel in particular, with bus travel rising as a cheaper alternative for many travelers.
- The world electric bus and taxi market is forecast to grow almost 9 times larger between 2012 and 2022 to reach $60 billion, reports IDTechEx. Hybrid vehicles are currently proving extremely popular, though this is expected to give way to growing demand for pure electric versions. China is set to take top place in the global market for electric buses and taxis before 2022.
Regional Market Share
- North America’s bus market is without the passenger tram, train and subway systems central to the EU and Japan, but uses purpose-built school buses, notes Freedonia. Buses are the main transport option for people travelling in US city centers. Bus sales may witness a challenge in the form of public spending due to stimulus funding. Though public spending may also have the effect of boosting transit bus sales in multi-mode passenger transportation systems. Growth in Japan and the EU will remain at a slower pace due to transport alternatives (like light rail) and aging populations.
- China dominates the global bus market in terms of both demand and production. Bus output to date has been mainly to meet local demand, but over coming years China may become an important bus producer at a broader level. While Japan and the EU currently represent important markets in the bus industry, Central and South America represent up-and-coming markets.
- The car rental market in Mexico recorded 5% growth in 2011, according to research from BricData. Economic growth has fuelled recovery in Mexico’s tourism sector, which is forecast to record high levels of foreign investment. Mexico’s car rental sector is also expected to record yearly growth of almost 6% between 2012 and 2016. Car rental outfits in the region should expand their fleets and add new offices nationwide; leading companies currently operating in the Mexican car rental industry include Avis Rent A Car, Hertz, Europcar, Budget and Thrifty.
As consumers and governments become increasingly aware of the importance of taking measures to combat environmental damage, demand for green transportation is expected to rise. Motorists are already opting for road vehicles that consume lesser amounts of oil and gas necessary due to rising fuel prices and the need to cut toxic emissions.
Diesel is set to keep dominating in the bus transit sector, with hybrid electric buses witnessing 20% yearly growth and natural gas buses witnessing more than 8% yearly growth through 2016.
Leading Industry Associations
- American Bus Association www.buses.org
- Australian Taxi Industry Association www.atia.com.au
- American Car Rental Association www.acraorg.com
- Electric Drive Transportation Association www.electricdrive.org
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