Major car-sharing service platforms expand market share with pre-emptive quarantine steps

By Lim Chang-won Posted : September 8, 2020, 09:09 Updated : September 8, 2020, 09:09

[Courtesy of SoCar]

SEOUL -- Unlike global companies such as Uber and Lyft that have seen a fall in their revenue this year due to a coronavirus pandemic, major car-sharing service platforms in South Korea have expanded their market share with pre-emptive quarantine steps such as frequent disinfection and cleaning to dispel anxiety among users.

There are at least seven car-sharing platforms in South Korea. Their performance has been affected by an economic slump this year, but two market leaders, SoCar and Green Car, have expanded their presence by giving users the impression that their service is safer than public transportation used by many unspecified people.

SoCar began car-sharing services similar to conventional rent-a-car services in South Korea in 2011. Customers use smartphone apps to reserve vehicles parked in public parking lots. The service has been favored by young consumers because car-sharing fees are based on mileage, making an ideal service for those who travel short distances in urban areas.

Green Car's rental cases rose 38.2 percent on-year in June and 43.1 percent in July. SoCar with about 2,000 vehicles reported a steady increase in the number of passengers and rental time this year. Comparable figures were not given. SoCar has increased vehicle disinfection and washing. Green Car has carried out the vehicle disinfection of areas with high physical contact and the sterilization of the interior.

Changes in demand were detected in the domestic car-sharing market. Consumers have changed their tendency to rent longer-term vehicles. "We will respond to changes in the market by diversifying long-term rental products," a SoCar official said, adding consumers favor long-term rental for their personal quarantine.
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