Car Sharing Picks Up Speed

NUI Galway Car Share launched Photograph by Aengus McMahon

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has put out a trend report estimating
car-sharing market size by 2021. Excerpts of the report:

Sharing economy is the unexpected trend in mobility and is likely to pick up speed as cities get clogged and driving is no longer a pleasure. It’s good for the environment as well as fewer cars will be on the road, although the growth in the number of cars owned by people may not drop that significantly.

BCG found that although car sharing will expand relatively quickly and widely, it will have only a minimal effect on new-car sales, both because “most drivers will not forgo car ownership entirely and because some share of lost car sales will be partially offset by sales into car-sharing fleets in large urban areas.”

“The trend toward car sharing should nonetheless make automotive OEMs consider re-conceiving their mission, at least in part. While continuing to serve as manufacturers and distributors of personally owned vehicles, OEMs should also experiment with providing mobility services and devise new business models accordingly. Manufacturers can set up units to provide vehicles to consumers on an as-needed basis, substituting a stream of fee income for sales revenues. At the same time, this can give them access to potential customers who might buy a car at some point in the future.”

Some Numbers

Car sharing is taking hold in large urban areas in both the developed and the developing world. Although the largest market is the Asia-Pacific region (including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan), with 2.3 million users and 33,000 vehicles, Europe (including Turkey and Russia) boasts the largest service per capita, with 2.1 million users and 31,000 vehicles. North America (including Canada and the United States) brings up the rear, with 1.5 million users sharing 22,000 vehicles. Together the three regions account for 2.5 billion booked minutes per year and €650 million in revenues.

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