Automakers Adapting to ‘Car-Sharing’ Era

Automakers are learning to adapt as less people are relying on owning a vehicle to survive.

As car-sharing services such as Zipcar, Uber, Lyft and Halo gain global popularity, automakers are aware that the market is changing and there is a potential for fewer consumers in the future. For one, Honda is recognizing that “personal mobility will evolve over time” and that automakers will eventually embrace the idea that they’re more about moving people than selling cars.

In an interview with Automotive News, assistant vice president in the product regulatory office for American Honda Motor Co., Jay Joseph, acknowledged that “in the future, people won’t need to own their vehicles. So we’re not just an automaker, we’re a mobility company.”

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Other automakers, such as Ford, have embraced the idea of car-sharing and is supplying vehicles to Zipcar locations at 350 college campuses. The American automaker believes the move has helped put its products in hands of young people who don’t own vehicles while aligning with Zipcar’s model of promoting fuel-efficient cars that are only used when necessary.

General Motors, on the other hand, has recognized Uber by designating a small number of its U.S. dealerships as “Uber preferred dealerships,” offering discounts on GM vehicles to Uber drivers. The company has also lent Cadillac crossovers and SUVs to Uber for on-demand 15-minute rides around downtown Detroit during this year’s auto show.

[Source: Automotive News]