A bit strange, isn't it? Instead of everyone owning a car, everyone sharing rides (i.e. Uber, Lyft, Zipcar, Maven, etc) will drive more car sales. Many people have been wondering how the rise of ride-sharing would affect automobile sales around the world. And according to a report coming out of the TU Automotive Detroit conference that was held earlier this year, ride-sharing could increase the number of vehicles on the road, as well as increase the number of sales in the automotive industry.
Kaye Ceille, who is the president of Zipcar, noted that thanks to Zipcar (and Maven in some areas), people are able to live without personally owning a car. What Zipcar does, is it allows you to basically rent a car by the hour. Similar to General Motor's Maven service, which just launched in Los Angeles this week. Ceille said that Zipcar knows "that each shared vehicle we put on the road takes up to 13 personally owned vehicles off the road." Continuing by stating that Zipcar is "really, really good for cities." Zipcar's initial goal was to clear the road of personally owned vehicles and reduce road congestion, especially in major cities. However this will also reduce the emissions in the air from cars on the road. Something that would be a big deal in some of China's larger cities like Shanghai and Beijing.
While Ceille is excited about having less cars on the road, others are not in agreement there. Roger C. Lanctot, who is the associate director of Strategy Analytics' global automotive practice, stated that "traditional car ownership, plus ride-sharing, plus ride-hailing is going to lead to increased sales." He also said that there will be new ownership models, as well as well as new service and maintenance models. With Uber drivers getting around 50,000 or more miles a year, it's going to mean that the car is going to need maintenance a lot sooner than it normally would. Which not only means more cars being sold, but more jobs for mechanics.
Then there is Grant Bodley, who's a general manager of global manufacturing at Hortonworks, who thinks that ride-sharing and ride-hailing will drive demand for these low-cost autonomous vehicles. Something that companies like Alphabet, General Motors and Ford are already working on. Bret Scott of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also had a pretty interesting point here. Autonomous vehicles are going to be important for those that can no longer drive. Just because they aren't drive safely anymore, doesn't mean they need to rely on someone else to take them from point A to point B. As their car can do it for them.
Many have been afraid of what the increase in ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles would mean for jobs. But it looks like it could be even better than the model that we currently have for vehicles on public roads out here.