Study: car sharing threatens US auto sales image

Alix Partners, a consulting and business advisory firm, says in its most recent study that car sharing businesses – which first gained traction around a decade ago – have now started to become a real threat to new car sales.

In its study, Alix Partners pointed out that around 500,000 vehicle sales in the US alone have been lost because of the growing popularity of car sharing programs like Zipcar or Relay Rides.

“Our study suggests that Americans’ willingness to avoid vehicle purchases due to growing car-sharing options is higher than many have thought,” said Mark Wakefield, managing director at AlixPartners and leader of the firm’s Automotive Practice in North America.

Wakefield says the fact that car sharing business have started to make a dent on new car sales should not be ignored or treated lightly by automakers, as the Alix Partners study focused on ten cities to see how quickly these programs are impacting auto purchases. According to the study, the usual car-sharing fleet vehicle displaces 32 vehicles that could have been otherwise purchased and the replacement rate is greater than the one other studies found it by looking at a national level.