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Car Sharing - US - June 2009

This report explores the car sharing market in the US. It provides insight into the external and internal factors affecting consumption and trends and what they mean for future sales, as well as, promotional campaigns and industry innovations. Specific questions that are answered in this report include the following:

  • What effects do rising gasoline costs and the economic downturn have on the overall market?
  • What companies and interests control the car sharing market?
  • How can consumers who are committed to their vehicles be persuaded to purchase a car share membership?
  • Where will the car share market be in 20 years and what cities are the leaders?
  • What companies are innovating within their segments, and how can others learn from their success?
  • How can car sharing operators partner with municipalities and other industries to boost awareness and participation?
  • How can car share operators take advantage of the economic downturn to appeal to consumers seeking budget-conscious transit options?
  • What media are industry leaders using to deliver effective marketing campaigns and what actions need to be taken to improve visibility?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Car-sharing programs have more than 300,000 U.S. members
                      • Car sharing still relatively young in the U.S., controlled by three interests
                        • Zipcar
                          • Car rental operators
                            • Non-profits
                              • Car-share operators market through word of mouth or partnerships
                                • Car-sharing awareness, participation extremely low among respondents
                                  • Car sharing skewed more towards high income earners as second cars
                                    • Car ownership most significant obstacle preventing car sharing
                                    • Insights and Opportunities

                                      • Market car sharing to urban families through car seats, larger vehicle stock
                                        • Car-sharing companies should appeal to user vanity through luxury
                                        • Inspire Insights

                                            • Trend 1: Staying Connected
                                              • Socialization and interdependency are the biggest things on the internet
                                                • Car-sharing operators use social networking to facilitate ridership
                                                  • Trend 2: Tracking Our Location
                                                    • The geo-spatial web is changing our relationship to our space
                                                      • GPS can connect car share members to actual vehicles, wherever they are
                                                      • Competitive Context

                                                        • Carpooling positioned to share rides among users within single vehicle
                                                          • New York City explores the possibilities of sharing cab rides among riders
                                                            • Daimler launches pilot program to offer easy access to Smart Fortwos
                                                              • European-style automated bicycle sharing arrives in Washington, DC
                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                • Fewer miles traveled may create increased reliance on car sharing
                                                                  • Figure 1: Consumer vehicle miles traveled, all U.S. roads and streets, 1998-2008
                                                                • Downturn in rentals forces some car rental companies to pursue sharing
                                                                  • As new car sales decline, consumers may rely more on car sharing
                                                                    • Municipalities encouraging car-sharing incentives for new home developers
                                                                      • Toyota launches electric brand targeted just for car-sharing users
                                                                        • Municipalities, corporations creating exclusive pacts to car share
                                                                        • Car-sharing Segments

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Car sharing is controlled by Zipcar, car rental companies, non-profits
                                                                                • Figure 2: Annual membership fees and rates and cities available, national U.S. car-share companies, 2009
                                                                            • Zipcar

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Zipcar dominates car sharing, having vehicle fleets in more than 50 cities
                                                                                  • Zipcar emphasizes convenience more than environmental advocacy
                                                                                    • FastFleet generates revenues through selling car-share technology
                                                                                    • Rental Car Companies

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Car rental companies alter car-share market by launching branded service
                                                                                          • Connect by Hertz
                                                                                            • WeCar
                                                                                              • U Car Share
                                                                                              • Non-profits

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Non-profit car-share programs strive to decrease driving in urban areas
                                                                                                    • Key non-profit car-share programs
                                                                                                    • Brand Qualities

                                                                                                      • OZOcar promotes environmental stewardship through hybrid-only fleet
                                                                                                        • Curvy Road’s car-sharing plans provide exclusive rights to fantasy cars
                                                                                                        • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                          • iPhone applications connect passengers, drivers together to share rides
                                                                                                            • Zipcar, I-GO create partnerships with public transit to increase ridership
                                                                                                              • Zipcar generates additional revenue by licensing car-sharing software
                                                                                                              • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                • Car sharing is promoted locally through partnerships, word of mouth
                                                                                                                  • Car-share companies cross-promote with local businesses for discounts
                                                                                                                    • Online marketing remains growing opportunity for car-share companies
                                                                                                                      • Zipcar promoted through local, not national, broadcast media outlets
                                                                                                                          • Figure 3: Zipcar ad, 2009
                                                                                                                      • Car Sharing—Consumer Awareness

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Car-sharing awareness dramatically low; growth potential high
                                                                                                                              • Figure 4: Car share awareness, by gender, March 2009
                                                                                                                            • Early career professionals likely to show more awareness than older peers
                                                                                                                                • Figure 5: Car-sharing awareness, by age, March 2009
                                                                                                                              • Car-sharing awareness rates highest with the wealthiest respondents
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 6: Car share awareness, by household income, March 2009
                                                                                                                                • Awareness highest on both coasts; room to grow in nation’s middle, south
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 7: Car share awareness, by region, March 2009
                                                                                                                                • Car Sharing—Participation

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Car share membership skews low, suggesting opportunity for growth
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 8: Car-share participation, by gender, March 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Respondents aged 25-34 are most likely to have car share memberships
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 9: Car-share participation, by age, March 2009
                                                                                                                                      • The most affluent are most likely to be car-sharing members
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 10: Car-share participation, by household income, March 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Car Sharing—Reasons Against Participating

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Vehicle ownership primary concern among potential car share members
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 11: Reasons against car-share participation, by gender, March 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Vehicle inventory needed most in neighborhoods where younger users live
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Reasons against car-sharing participation, by age, March 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Middle-income households present challenge for car-share operators
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 13: Reasons against car-sharing participation, by household income, March 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Blacks and Hispanics more aware of car sharing than whites
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 14: Car share awareness, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Hispanics show tendency to be more loyal to car sharing than others
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 15: Car-share participation, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Hispanics more likely open to car sharing, whites more tied to personal car
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 16: Reasons against car-share participation, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                • Publicists
                                                                                                                                                  • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                      • Skeptics
                                                                                                                                                        • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                            • Owners
                                                                                                                                                              • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Don’t share my ride clusters, March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Car-share participation, by don’t share my ride clusters, March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Reasons against car-share participation, by don’t share my ride clusters, March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Don’t share my ride clusters, by gender, March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Don’t share my ride clusters, by age, March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Don’t share my ride clusters, by household income, March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Don’t share my ride clusters, by race, March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Don’t share my ride clusters, by Hispanic origin, March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Don’t share my ride clusters, by metropolitan environment, March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                    Car Sharing - US - June 2009

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