By on February 5, 2014


According to a report from consulting firm AlixPartners, each and every car in the Zipcar or car2go car-sharing fleets means 32 lost vehicle sales. Based on a survey of 2,000 adults in 10 major cities who use car-sharing services, the report says that Americans would have bought an additional half million new or used cars and light trucks since 2006 if they did not have access to those services. That figure is expected to grow to 1.2 million by the end of the decade.

The report expects that the number of drivers using car-sharing services will grow from less than 1 million today to 4 million by 2020.

For every car in its fleet, the average car-sharing service has about 66 members, a number that will grow to 81/car by 2020. Almost half of regular users end up not buying a car, the report said.

The study looked at car-sharing in: Chicago, Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, San Diego, Boston, Portland, Ore.; and Austin, Texas. Car-sharing is expanding, but that growth is currently limited to affluent, urban areas near universities. Should the autonomous car become a reality, though, it could spur dramatic growth in car-sharing.


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30 Comments on “AlixPartners Study: Every Car Shared Means 32 Lost Sales...”

  • avatar

    In the film Zeitgeist:Moving Forward, the socialist plan for rationing services, removing “ownership” from cars and houses is clearly spelled out. It sounded ridiculous until you see it in action. And now the future of America: a bunch of low wage renters…

    • 0 avatar

      How ironic the socialist plan for “low wage renters” would be the result of freewheeling capitalism sending jobs to communist lands and the collapse of the free worlds banking system. Interesting.

      • 0 avatar

        Socialists are attacking the way America does business and making us less competitive.

        And FACT: 2/3 of the money Americans make stays here at home.

        • 0 avatar

          I see. Who are these socialists? Are they from branches of the government charged to keep workers and customers safe and our environment clean? Are they the big business owners sending jobs overseas? Is there an un-named group trying to bring in modern day serfdom or fascism?
          The money earned: Are you talking about legal paychecks? Does this include payments for commodities and finished goods on the wholesale/manufacturer level?
          And does it include the money transferred by legal/non-legal workers overseas, mostly south of the border?

          • 0 avatar

            #1 Whether you’re talking about the “poor”, the “working poor” or the “middle class”, roughly 2/3rds of American’s income goes right back into the American economy.

            All of those libertarians worried about “the Chinese holding US dollars” needn’t worry because unlike the Euro, there is no place they can spend the US DOLLAR that doesn’t ultimately return it to America. Even if they buy commodities elswhere, it ultimately comes back. The US DOLLAR is like a gift card.

            #2 The socialists in office PRINTING MONEY INTO HYPER INFLATION are weakening the buying power of the middle class.

            #3 The socialists RATIONING healthcare and taxing the plans of the wealthy higher are ruining healthcare across the board so that some can have what they didn’t have before.

            Watch the movie Zeitgeist Moving Forward. It’s free on Youtube. Their movement is SPELLED OUT for you.

        • 0 avatar

          So, it is now “roughly” 2/3rds of the poor, working poor and middle class. Are the rich included? They hold a large share of wealth.
          The flow of US dollars in mostly Communist China funds their government, military, and is used to prop up very undesirable regimes for commodities mostly. So, it appears to be cavalier about this flow could lead to very large problems in the future.
          Printing money…we have to because of two main reasons: The huge outflow of funds every year, and with an expanding economy more cash has to be released. Debt is now a fact of life, if we returned to a gold based system, every one of us would be dirt poor. Only cash backed by gold would be valuable. That is not much.
          Healthcare: The cobbled together system in the US is corrupt. Costs are out of control and services are spotty. Providers here are paid per task with no regard for results. The insurance company middle dwellers drive costs up by demanding discounts, so like diamond sellers, huge mark-ups are the norm. When treatments are too costly, insurance companies can limit max payouts and raise premiums on everyone citing a few cases.
          I have worked and lived in over 40 countries , always living with locals to learn different takes..and study martial arts! For me, getting my life education by watching a movie is like reading a study by Starbucks that coffee is good for every ill known.

          • 0 avatar

            I’m very happy of your living abroad and being taught by Pai Mei the ancient arts of the 5-finger-death-punch.

            I myself have only lived in 3 and 2 of them were Socialist.

            I didn’t get a “life education” watching a movie. I watched a movie and saw an ideology planned out which I reject.

        • 0 avatar

          How on Earth is this a socialist plot?

          Less traffic, less pollution, and less income spend on a device that is idle 90% of the time. Even car drivers should hope car sharing blows up. All that money spent on cars could be spent on.. anything else. Or retirement.

    • 0 avatar

      I think you need to get out more.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Car sharing is a fantastic idea for city-dwellers. We already have too many registered cars in the U.S. today. This will undoubtedly help keep traffic congestion down in and around major metropolitan areas, as people who use car sharing services typically only use them when absolutely necessary.

    • 0 avatar

      Excellent point. It’s very popular in older compact eastern cities where owning a car is an especially big hassle, like Boston, or Providence, where parking is so difficult that you have to prove you have off-street parking to get registered.

      I’ve seen zip car stations in my neighborhood, but they’re all gone now. San Diego is spread out, but my neighborhood has the kind of clientele that can get to the unemployment or welfare office cheaper by bus.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s also more personally efficient. As the years go by, I’m shocked by how many lifestyle assumptions are being cracked open by technology. We all thought we needed so many things, for reasons that are becoming obsolete.

      I need a lawn so my house can look like other houses. I need a lawnmower, and I might as well get a nice one. I need oil for the mower, and the good stuff why not? I need air filters, and blade sharpening, and ear protection, and a space to store the mower. I also need to put Sta-bil in the gas.

      I can’t wait till my kids are in college so I can sell my house and things and live like a monk.

  • avatar

    How did the study determine who would have bought a car if not for car sharing? The concept of having a license and only renting a car when needed is hardly new; it’s just more of a hassle with traditional rental services.

  • avatar

    So, car sharing is just the next evolution of car rentals?

    Many have predicted that we are moving from an ownership society to a rentalship society. Rent anything you will not need/want to keep forever: textbooks, movies, clothes, cars, etc.

  • avatar

    LALoser – Remember Winston Churchill’s advice: “Never engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.”

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger


    I’m a lifelong Republican, from Texas.
    I’ve supported the NRA for a long time.
    I originally supported Ted Cruz (But no longer will do).
    I’m also 58, white and Christian.
    In plain words, a conservative.

    Having said that….
    I am appalled by individuals which immediately attach blame to a liberal agenda or Obama conspiracy, whenever anything challenges their ideas or views.

    Can’t you see that this Fox News induced mindset is one of the reasons (we) Republicans lost the election?

  • avatar

    I’m not convinced the impact on car sales by car sharing services is so dramatic. Would most car share members actually buy a car were it not for the service? Or would they be using public transport, cabs, and possibly the occasional rental? Did the members surveyed have cars before subscribing, then sell them? I’d like to see more detail about the survey.

    • 0 avatar

      If I’m reading the article correctly, one shared vehicle in a carshare fleet represents 32 “lost” car sales, but 66 people “share” each car, so clearly not all (but definitely some) carshare members would have kept their cars or bought new ones if not for the service.

    • 0 avatar

      I would guess the vast majority are one car households that would otherwise become two car households. If say you are a couple with two kids maybe you only need a second car 3 times a week but you really need those rides. It’s much cheaper to spend say $200 a month on car share when you need it than to buy a second car. The other is people like me who might buy a car (though I personally wouldnt) only for weekend or occassional trips because I can take public transit almost everywhere.

  • avatar

    car sharing is great thing for a big city. i paid 15000$ for a car wich is parked 22 hours/day, and i pay road taxes and insurance to let the car parked. in 10 years the car will only have 100-120.000 miles but require repairs or sostitution with a new car due to age.
    so yes, car sharing do rduce sales. but if i can avoid to buy a normal car for commute, maybe i can use the money to buy something for sunday driving.
    and the study should consider the sales made by sharing fleets: if i’d use a share car with other 33 persons the car won’t last 10 years like mine does. it won’t even last 5 i think.

  • avatar

    Design challenge: what’s the perfect sharing car? Can an automaker sell a car tailored to the sharing market? What features would it include?

    I propose a Honda Fit with a rubber floor, AUX AM/FM radio with no CD, very simple navigation, several USB ports, and bicycle roof rack. It has to be simple to use for people who don’t drive very often.

    • 0 avatar

      1) easy to clean!
      2) rubber coat ALL THE THINGS!
      3) simple controls
      4) space

    • 0 avatar

      Eliminate the AM/FM, navigation, USB ports and bicycle roof rack, and they could use my old 1963 brown Dodge Dart wagon (no manual-push buttons).

    • 0 avatar

      I grew up in the DC area and ditched my car when I moved into the city. I now rely on the metro, my bike, bikeshare, my feet, cabs, uber, the bus and car sharing to get around. It’s far more convenient than it sounds. For car sharing, I have a card for Zipcar, Car2go, and the new enterprise car sharing group. Plus I travel a ton for work and rent cars all the time so to answer your question about the perfect car sharing car, there are two that come to mind: the new 4 door Fiat 500s and the older Honda Elements. Why? Four doors and a tailgate makes errands and groceries easy. Both are low enough to the ground that if equipped with roof racks people could easily access them. Both are surprisingly roomy inside and the gas mileage is good. Lastly, they are small enough to maneuver and park within crowded cities.

  • avatar

    Autonomous car sharing scares me, I think cars look too much and behave too much alike as is. I can’t imagine what taking away the ability to drive or own them will do to that.

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