-- By Franck Leveque and Mohamed Mubarak Moosa, Frost & Sullivan
LONDON, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Vehicle manufacturers increasingly perceive car sharing as a potential differentiator, an additional revenue stream, and an opportunity to get closer to their customers. Yet even though the 60 year old concept has innovated itself in recent years by creating new business models like one-way, two-way floating, and P2P car sharing, there is still untapped potential with regard to drivers and travellers, who are not a member of a car sharing scheme yet.
Frost & Sullivan recently completed a voice-of-the-consumer study analysing the feedback from non-car sharing members in selected European cities in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
This research project was conducted with an overall sample size of 2,348 respondents in five key cities in each of the three countries and the objective was to get information on transport usage and commuting profiles, interest in car sharing, expectations of car sharing, the willingness to pay for such a service, and a future demand analysis.
The results illustrate that the market for P2P car sharing is still in its nascent stage and is expected to co-exist alongside traditional car sharing. The interest in using someone else's car is higher than the interest to make one's own car available for others to rent. Surprisingly, a correlation exists between the interest in becoming a car sharing member and the interest in making one's own car available for others to rent.
At the end of the study, nearly 38 per cent of the respondents considered car sharing somewhat/highly relevant for their mobility needs. Based on the optimal car sharing model defined through the 'Adaptive Choice Based Conjoint' analysis during this survey, we expect a city like Berlin to show a potential of up to 180,000 members.
The information gathered from the survey can be summarised in the following five key findings:
Catch them young: Young (aged between 25 and 34 years), well educated employees with low access or ownership to a car have shown a high level of interest in car sharing, which compares to about 31 per cent of students being interested.
Car sharing has to co-exist with public transportation: Although respondents view car sharing as a flexible and easy alternative for public transportation, they are only willing to use it in combination with both transport modes. The majority of the respondents prefer a city transport operator as car sharing operator and expect to include car sharing parking spots in front of public transport stations.
More urban car owners to give-up ownership after joining car sharing: About 40 per cent of current car owners with one car are likely to give up car ownership after becoming a member of a car sharing service. About 60 per cent of current car non-owners will not consider purchasing a new car in addition to their car sharing membership.
One-way car sharing with right pricing and operational model will be winning concept: The one-way car sharing model with a 4-seater gasoline engine vehicle available for pickup/drop-off at stations within 200 meter receives the highest preference share of 16.2 per cent. Although the winning concept can be calculated at a price point of €15.50 per hour, a further decrease in price to €7 - €11 can increase market share.
Return to basics of marketing - Familiarity will drive uptake rates: Only one among four non-members is familiar with the car sharing concept and only 28 per cent are interested in becoming a member. The relevance of the car sharing concept has become even more appealing to about 38 per cent of the respondents interested, after a detailed introduction of the concept.
About the market and this study:
For 2013 Frost & Sullivan expects traditional car sharing to reach about three million members with 70,000 vehicles globally. It is expected to increase nine-fold, reaching about 26.2 million members by 2020 globally. On similar lines, the emerging European peer-to-peer (P2P) car sharing market, which had 13 operators in 2010, witnessed almost 85-90 per cent growth in one year with 24 operators in 2011.
The study used the 'Adaptive Choice Based Conjoint' methodology, enabling the possibility to create different simulations of car sharing models and generating the respective pricing and market share. The list of the cities surveyed includes Paris, Lyon, Marseille, and Toulouse in France; Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Cologne in Germany; London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Edinburgh in The United Kingdom.
About the Authors:
Franck Leveque is Vice President for Frost & Sullivan's Automotive & Transportation Practice; Mohamed Mubarak Moosa is Programme Manager Automotive & Transportation at Frost & Sullivan.
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