Results of car-sharing study may be grim news for automakers

As a follow up to our recent blog about the Kandi car-vending machine in China, we came across this article in Treehugger, which featured some interesting results from a study on car-sharing programs in the US.Researchers, Alix Partners, have released the results claiming that approximately 500,000 vehicle purchases have been avoided in the US thanks to car-sharing programs.  The study surveyed 1,000 drivers in 10 metropolitan areas where car-sharing already has an established presence, along with 1,000 drivers nationally as a control sample.  The results revealed that in the 10 metropolitan areas, for every share-car provided, 32 car sales were avoided.  “That’s more than double the rate of many studies that have focused only on national averages.” said Alix Partners.The research projects that 1.2 million car sales will be avoided up through 2020 as a result of a growing car-sharing market, which highlights the potential negative effect for car makers.The key to car-sharing’s success, according the to the study results, is ease of access, convenience and economics.  Surprisingly (and sadly), environmental concerns were last on the list of reasons given.

If car-sharing programs grow in popularity as predicted, this may be a difficult pill to swallow for an ailing automotive industry.  Alix Partners Managing Director and leader of the company’s Automotive Practice in North America suggests, “The auto industry ignores or minimizes this trend at its peril.”


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