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Ride-sharing and Auto Subscription Programs Popular with City Dwellers.

by | 4 minute read

The automotive industry’s predictions on the future of traditional
vehicle ownership remain a topic of debate and at times a guessing game.
Ultimately, awareness, availability and acceptance of on-demand
transportation options, such as car-sharing, ride-hailing and
subscription services, will likely be the deciding factor. The uptake of
vehicle ownership alternatives is transforming the way consumers view
mobility, according to the 2018 Cox Automotive Evolution of Mobility Study on Alternative Ownership.

The study found that consumers’ attitudes about the necessity of
vehicle ownership are gradually changing. Access to mobility is
necessary, but owning a vehicle is not, according to 39% of respondents.
For urban consumers, 57% indicate access to mobility is more important
than vehicle ownership, a 13-point increase since 2015. The cost of
owning or leasing a vehicle also is perceived to be becoming too high by
48% of respondents. This means increasingly more consumers are
prioritizing technology solutions that provide easy and more
cost-effective mobility over traditional vehicle ownership.

According
to AudienceSCAN, City Dwellers are 47% more likely than other adults to
be carless. In the past six months, this audience has also used a
mobile device to order food for takeout/delivery (27.3%) and search for
nearby retailers (21.4%). Why drive when you can potentially have what
you wish to buy delivered to you or just get it from a provider within
walking distance?

“Private ownership still dominates the
automotive landscape, but options like ride-hailing and subscription
programs are increasingly popular with young urban dwellers,” said Michelle Krebs,
executive analyst for Autotrader. “The trendline for these programs
could drastically alter this industry over the next five to 10 years.”

Today’s
consumers continue to rely overwhelmingly on vehicle ownership as their
primary mode of transportation and love the freedom (81%) and
convenience (89%) associated with it. This, however, is not particularly
true with younger cohorts, as 55% of Generation Z, 12-22-year-old
respondents, and 45% of millennial, 23-36-year-old respondents, feel
transportation is important, but owning a vehicle is not. Whereas 34% of
Generation X, 37-53-year-olds, and 28% of baby boomers,
54-72-year-olds, feel the same. Various business models such as
ride-hailing and car-sharing are gaining traction, as are new
subscription or flexible lease options. Automakers like BMW,
Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volvo and mobility companies like Clutch and
Flexdrive are growing an ecosystem of fleet vehicles, where commercial
owners hold the asset and charge consumers for usage.

Ride-Hailing is Mainstream, While Car-Sharing Remains Niche

Usage
and awareness of ride-hailing has hit the mass market with 88% of
respondents aware of this mobility option, regardless of where they
live, and with more than half of millennials (55%) using this service.
Car-sharing has experienced slower, pocketed growth with awareness at
54%, including a quarter of millennial adoption. Lack of widespread
adoption is due, in part, to car-sharing being significantly less
accessible than other alternative transportation methods. In urban areas
where car-sharing is most prominent, only 44% of consumers find it
accessible versus the 85% of consumers that find ride-hailing
accessible. The car-sharing space also is fragmented with many players,
giving consumers a lot of different options and leaving no clear leaders
in usage. Ride-hailing is less crowded, with Uber (30%) and Lyft (18%)
as the clear front-runners in terms of usage among respondents.

Car Subscriptions Gaining Traction in Early Stages

The
newest alternative ownership model is car subscription services,
described to consumers taking the survey as a service that gives you
control of a vehicle (similar to leasing), but also offers the ability
to swap your vehicle weekly or monthly. Users pay a one-time membership
fee and a subscription payment for their vehicle access (either weekly
or monthly) that includes all expenses except gas (such as insurance,
maintenance, roadside assistance).

While only beginning to gain
traction and currently only available in select markets, 25% of
consumers (18-64 years old) have heard of car subscription services.
Comparable to car-sharing, it is most appealing to young males and
new-vehicle buyers, with 10% of consumers indicating they would be open
to a vehicle subscription service instead of purchasing or leasing a
vehicle the next time they are in the market. Access to the latest
technology is the key draw to subscription services (44%): worry-free
maintenance (36%), the ability to swap vehicles based on your needs
(35%), and flexibility (35%) also are strong benefits.

Companies
that offer alternative to car ownership can target City Dwellers through
a variety of digital advertising strategies. According to AudienceSCAN,
last year, 52.9% of this audience took action after receiving an email
ad. They’re also 29% and 25% more likely than other adults to click on
text link ads and take action after seeing an ad in a print or online
directory search, respectively. Now, this doesn’t mean you should leave
out traditional ads. Last year, 63.8% of City Dwellers took action
because of a TV commercial they saw.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards
through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access
AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.
October 10, 2018 Automotive, Business Development Tags: ,

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