The torrid pace of new vehicle sales has put a damper on the forecasts that car sharing is going to become a major disruption for the traditional automotive industry in the US, though both industries seem to thrive and now complement each other.
The futurists saw millennials, currently the largest demographic block in the U.S., almost completely abandoning car ownership – though they don’t look that interested in giving up the new cars and trucks, by the way sales look better each month. Still, around 1.3 million Americans use and adhere to some type of car-sharing network, as of last year, jumping 34 percent from the year ago period, said the University of California-Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center. There’s even a new segment of the developing industry – with personal vehicles being rented out to strangers just like is the case with Airbnb.com’s renting of the residence to travelers when the owner is not using it. Called Getaround, the service has been established since 2009 and was initially available only in San Francisco, but has since expanded to Washington, Portland and Chicago. Some assumptions now need to be shed, as both industries are on a rising trend.
First, millennials are really not abandoning the traditional car ownership – the people born after 1980 made up 27 percent of the new vehicle sales last year, says J.D. Power and Associates. The second idea was that Generation Xers and Baby Boomers were willing to depend on their cars forever – Zipcar, which is owned by Avis Budget Group, showed a study last month that more and more people aged between 50 and 69 are attracted to urban areas.