Unpacked: Global Stats on Uber, Lyft, Didi Kuaidi, and Ola Cabs

Last week at CES in Vegas, we saw the good, the bad, and the ugly with regard to cabs vs. Uber and Lyft. While cabs still had their own designated lines right in front of the convention center, Uber and Lyft had their areas in a nearby parking lot. Both still had lines.

While we study app usage in many categories across 30 countries, the US, China, and India remain focus areas given their size and unique dynamics.

Each quarter we ask which apps/services consumer use on a monthly basis. Consumers can now choose from over 100 of the top apps and we add more each quarter. Below are the most recent Q4 results on ride sharing/cab services.

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As you can see, Uber faces some competitive dynamics in countries like India and China where local players are more popular. It does start to get interesting, however, when we start to segment these answers by age group. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the number of millennials using these services spikes as a total percent of age groups using one of these ride sharing services. In India, over a quarter (28%) of millennials surveyed say they use Ola Cabs on a monthly basis. 13% said they use Uber. In China, 12.7% of millennials say they use Didi Kuaidi on a monthly basis compare to 5.4% using Uber. And in the US, 7% of millennials say they use Uber on a monthly basis compared to 2.7% who use Lyft.

While we have to acknowledge Uber is up against tough local competition, it can be said Uber is global while the others are not. While Didi Kuaidi did invest in Lyft, and that may help its global footprint, Uber is expanding into more markets than anyone else. When we zoom out and look at all 30 countries, more people use Uber on a monthly basis across the globe than any other ride-sharing service.

Just to add some additional perspective to the grand Uber narrative, Automobile sales in the US hit record numbers in 2015. Guess which demographic did the bulk of that purchasing from our research? If you guessed millennials you are right. When we asked what major purchases consumer bought in the last six months, millennials were the largest buyers of cars of any demographic at 19%. Gen X came in at 14%. Looking forward at major purchase intentions, millennials again take the top spot at 13% stating they intend to buy an automobile in the next six months.

So, while it is true a younger demographic, particularly in dense city populations, are the major consumers of ride-sharing services, it is also true these services are not killing the car, or car ownership quite yet.

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Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio

3 thoughts on “Unpacked: Global Stats on Uber, Lyft, Didi Kuaidi, and Ola Cabs”

  1. FTalphaville points out some interesting point regarding the scaling of unicorns. http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/01/15/2150403/scaling-and-why-unicorns-cant-survive-without-it/

    In particular, while there might be economies of scale at the level of Uber, the same cannot be said for the drivers who have to negotiate everything themselves and don’t maximise usage of their car. This suggests that the Uber business model leaves money on the table and that we’re perhaps waiting for someone to go one up on them.

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