General Motors for example is unable – just like many other automakers – to sell cars to people living in crowded city centers – such as Manhattan – but now plans to have them rent one of its vehicles.
The largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world announced Thursday a pilot testing program enabling residents of the Ritz Plaza apartments in Times Square to rent GM models by the hour or the day when they need. For many New Yorkers, especially in Manhattan, but for other city residents around the world is very hard to own a vehicle because of limited and expensive parking. The company said if the program turns out to be successful, it would be expanded and the strategy already involves another US city that has not been named yet. “We view evolving consumer preferences, such as car-sharing, as real business opportunities,” commented Gm President Dan Ammann. The automaker has another pilot program that involves car-sharing, but this time in Germany under its Opel brand subsidiary.
Called Let’s Drive NYC, the program has already been initiated and will be limited to the 479-unit Ritz Plaza, which is on West 48th Street. At the moment, the company’s rates are lower than those offered by Avis Budget Group Inc.’s Zipcar unit – GM will ask $10 an hour to the rental company’s $12.75 an hour during the week and $75 for the day to $94 for a day and more on weekends. The Ritz Plaza residents will be able to rent out a Chevrolet Trax compact sport utility vehicle or Chevy Equinox small SUV.