Zipcar is a business that provides car-sharing programs for people in major, urban cities like Tokyo, New York and London. Zipcar allows people to borrow cars for designated times as needed. In some cases it may be borrowed for 30 minutes, some cases can be several days. Young professionals are eagerly participating in these programs because it allows the convienience allowed in owning a car without the long term cost. Car-sharing businesses have seen a dramatic increase in the last two years with expected growth for the next fifteen years. The idea of car-sharing is viewed as a more environmentally friendly approach to living because it reduces the number of cars emitting carbon into the city.
Automakers like BMW and Daimler have taken great strides to implement car-sharing services as a method for meeting car needs for future populations of people. BMW has launched car-sharing programs in foreign markets with much success. They have also experimented with late feel flexibility and one-way travel options for the professional on the go. It appears with the growing interest in car-sharing programs companies will continue to explore the feasibility of such programs. At this time, the programs do not have enough experience to determine the profitability. The demand has proven it is worthy to continue to explore because it is an in-demand service. Chapter Case 4 Questions-Daimler/BMW
- Discuss environmental factors related to population that are changing the way certain people approach car buying and are thus creating new market segments.
Young people are aware of the negative environmental factors impacting urban areas. It is as clears as the dust and smog on clothing when they venture into the streets of any major city. The fumes from trucks and cars sticks to the fibers of clothing as a constant reminder of the potential damage it is doing to their lungs. Young people are often looking to become part of the solution not contribute to the problem. As populations continue to increase the costs associated with owning a car in urban areas will increase as well. According to Pamela Skillings a blogger about New York City happenings, the average monthly cost for parking in Manhattan is over $ 400.00. This is in addition to the purchase of the car, insurance, tag, title, tax and maintenance. If one is a young professional in a large expensive city it would not be feasible to own a vehicle. Introducing car-sharing is a really smart way to expose a population of young people to the convenience of car ownership.
- Describe the values held by this emerging group of drivers that incline them toward car sharing programs.
The values shared by this emerging group of drivers are that of ecological and economical responsible. They have received education and training about sustainable living and often choose a more responsible way of life. On the economic side, this group doesn’t like to use their money for car ownership. They would rather travel to interesting places and spend their money on socializing. Car ownership is less of a status symbol and more of the example for why they can’t do all of the fabulous things they think they are destined to do.
- How are automakers using car-sharing programs to cater to customers’ component lifestyles?
Auto makers are considering that the marketplace is not all made up of people that must have a car to survive. They are using these programs to infiltrate a group of young people that would be fine with using public transportation because it is cheaper and safer for the environment. Introducing the process of car-sharing demonstrates to this population that things are easier when you own your own vehicle and luxury cars like a BMW are cool, sexy and affordable.