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Wuhan Coronavirus Boosts Car Ownership Advantages as Consumers Rethink Shared Rides

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Washington DC May 18, 2020; The AIADA newsletter reported that with widespread concern about coronavirus contagion, some say they're seeing a revival of consumers' interest in owning their own car, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Chinese Covid-19 pandemic has caused people from Beijing to Boston to shun public trains, trams, and buses, as they fear contracting the disease from contact with strangers in public places.

Many car owners who previously had left them home in favor of shared or public transportation are now taking their own vehicles out of safety concerns, analysts and executives say.

That instinct has produced a bright spot in an otherwise bleak sales outlook as the coronavirus batters the economy. Some car makers say new car sales in China, where recovery in the auto industry is beginning, are driven in part by new car shoppers looking to avoid the risk of public or shared rides.

Stephan Wöllenstein, chief executive of Volkswagen Group China, said that many are first-time car buyers, noting that they made up about 60% of the company's China sales last month.

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