From boats to horses to wheeled vehicles, humans have come a long way in developing new modes of transport. Trains pulled by steam locomotives became the first mode of mass transport as they were more powerful, faster and cheaper to operate (Effects of Transportation on the Economy, 2022).
Later, new modes of transport, such as cars, became the popular choice as they offered more convenience and the comfort of privacy. Even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, cars were still a popular choice among Malaysians (Car sales unaffected by pandemic, 2021).
Now that Malaysia has transitioned to the endemic phase, what has changed? We spoke to our fellow Malaysians to hear their thoughts:
Malaysians still prefer driving as a mode of transport
As reported throughout the pandemic and now the endemic phase, Malaysians continue to prefer their personal cars over other means of transportation (Endemic phase sees lower public transportation usage, 2022). Here are some insights as to why car ownership is crucial in recent times:
Amirul Sanusi, a 31-year-old public relations practitioner at a homegrown health technology brand, has been driving his Volkswagen Beetle to work every day since the endemic began. He believes that driving gives him a sense of freedom and peace of mind.
“When the pandemic hit, I thought I would never need to drive anymore. But I was wrong. Driving feels liberating as I cruise the less congested roads. It made me appreciate my freedom of movement more than ever before”, he adds.
Meanwhile, Ani Sarah Ridzwan, 35, an executive at a professional services company in Bangsar, has been driving her old Mitsubishi Triton for 12 years.
Unlike Amirul, Sarah chooses to stick to driving mainly for safety reasons. Despite the country being in the endemic phase, Malaysians are still practising social distancing and mask-wearing in public places. Sarah is one of them.
“I feel safer as I do not have to cram with strangers inside LRTs or buses”, she says.
Safety and convenience have always been important aspects when it comes to driving. While Sarah puts safety first, Jennifer Ng Abdullah chooses to drive mainly because of the convenience.
As the Head of Partnership Distribution at a leading Islamic insurance company, the 47-year-old owner of a Mitsubishi Xpander not only loves driving but believes driving is the most convenient way for her to get to work.
“I love driving because it’s convenient. I have my Mitsubishi for work and an MPV for road trips. I can’t think of a better way to get around the city”, she adds.
The Future of Urban Mobility
It is clear that Malaysians still view cars as a necessity. It is not a surprise that people are choosing to own cars over using ride-hailing services or public transport, and it looks like it will continue to stay this way as we move through the endemic phase.
MYTUKAR Sdn Bhd, one of the largest digital used car marketplaces in Southeast Asia, has shown significant growth in its transaction volumes over time. Transactions rose by 260% for retail and 63% for wholesale, contributing to an 89% rise in net revenue. (myTukar sees a 260% rise on transaction value, 2022). As the industry continues to recover, we can anticipate an increase in demand for new car sales - alongside used car sales.
For 38 years, EON has committed to providing Malaysians with the best mobility solutions through notable brands like PROTON, Mitsubishi, Audi, Volkswagen and many others. We believe in catering to the country's automotive needs across multiple brands, segments and preferences.
Effects of Transportation on the Economy. (2022, July 19). National Geographic Society. Retrieved September 1, 2022, from https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/effects-transportation-economy
JAAFAR, F., & AMIN, M. (2022, June 7). Endemic phase sees lower public transportation usage. The Malaysian Reserve. Retrieved September 1, 2022, from https://themalaysianreserve.com/2022/06/07/endemic-phase-sees-lower-public-transportation-usage/
LAI, A. (2021, June 12). Car sales unaffected by pandemic, says Transport Ministry. The Star. Retrieved September 1, 2022, from https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2021/06/12/car-sales-unaffected-by-pandemic-says-transport-ministry
NGUYEN, T. C. (2020, January 9). The Brief History of Transportation. ThoughtCo. Retrieved September 1, 2022, from https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-transportation-4067885
SUHAIDI, N. (2022, July 4). myTukar sees 260% rise on transaction value. The Malaysian Reserve. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://themalaysianreserve.com/2022/07/04/mytukar-sees-260-rise-on-transaction-value/