Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Enterprise Brand Entering Retail Car-Sharing Market
Initially targeting the Boston and New York markets, Enterprise Holdings announced that the company will be putting its flagship brand name Enterprise behind its entire car-sharing operation.
Enterprise already has begun transitioning the new Enterprise CarShare name in Canada and the U.K., as well as in Boston and New York, with other U.S. cities to follow next year. All of Enterprise Holdings' retail, university, corporate, government and municipal car-sharing programs will be fully aligned under the Enterprise CarShare name by mid-2013.
Ryan Johnson, assistant vice president for Enterprise Holdings will oversee the introduction of the Enterprise brand into retail car-sharing for the largest car rental company in the world.
"It's not a coincidence that we are starting in Boston and New York City, two of the most highly competitive car-sharing markets in the United States," Johnson said. "Under the Enterprise CarShare name, we not only are building on our company's legacy and beacon brand, but also strategically leveraging our award-winning customer service, consumer-friendly pricing and the largest and most diverse fleet in the industry."
Matt Darrah, executive vice president of North American operations for Enterprise Holdings, believes that the company's leadership role in the car rental industry provides more than just vital economies of scale in the car-sharing segment. It also taps into an unmatched neighborhood network of more than 5,000 Enterprise Rent-A-Car local branch offices, more than twice as many as its nearest U.S. competitor.
What does this mean?
Car-sharing has been slowly gaining in popularity over the past ten years with companies like zipcar and dozens of other small regional programs. With a well-known, national brand name like Enterprise behind a car-sharing program, along with their ubiquitous presence in many neighborhoods across the country, this move may very well provide an exponential shot in the arm for the concept of car-sharing.
Numerous research initiatives on car-sharing have all shown that many members of car-sharing programs not only avoid buying a second car, or owning one at all, but they drastically reduce the number of miles driven on a regular basis.
A UC Berkeley study done for San Francisco's City CarShare about 10 years ago found that 30 percent of City CarShare households sold one or more of their cars after joining the car-sharing program, and automobile travel among members dropped 47 percent.
And in 2005, a survey conducted by the car sharing service zipcar, found that its members drove approximately 80 percent less than they did before using car-sharing. Members claimed they drove on average approximately 5,295 miles per year prior to joining zipcar, but only approximately 1,068 miles per year after joining the service.
A more recent study by the Transportation Sustainability Research Center, University of California, Berkeley found that, in the United States, the average car-sharing member's VMT (vehicle miles traveled) is reduced between 7.6 percent and 79.8 percent.
Drastic reductions such as these in car ownership and miles driven can only put downward pressure on auto insurance demand, accident rates, and available collision repair work.