Don’t Assume a Universal Based on Your Situation

I was on an online discussion event recently when a lady said (and I summarize), “Nobody will want a car anymore because we’ve shown we can work from home and have things delivered.” My reaction was, that’s really stupid. She took her situation and applied it to everybody (both all people being able to work from home and about the need for cars). And someone, somewhere is paying her for insight like this?

How wrong was she (about the cars)? It seems very wrong given on May 16 the Wall Street Journal had an article about how auto manufacturers are gearing up. They’re assuming, and hoping, the rest of the world emulates China where auto sales are skyrocketing because people don’t want to ride buses, subways, trains, or be in an Uber, Lyft, taxi. (There have also been articles about how car rental companies may flood the market with cars for sale given their industry was hit so hard.)

The business point here is, don’t rush to judgment, especially based on an isolated instance. At this time, we have people predicting a slow recovery, V shaped recovery, and everything in between. And the stock market is its own animal. My comment is the recovery will be different for different industries. I do think it safe to say storefront businesses will really have to depend on how comfortable customers are returning (versus it being about the business owner wanting to open).

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