There was a time when we thought owning CDs and DVDs was the utmost in access to our favorite things – and now, platforms like Netflix and Spotify have replaced these more permanent physical goods while adding a convenience factor. And you get your shelf space back.
So is transportation going this same direction, like, for real this time? Car sharing is certainly not a new idea, but Lyft’s co-founder John Zimmer is so bullish on ride-sharing that he recently blogged about private car ownership and how it “all but disappears” by 2025. Look, I was pretty vocal about tablets being a flash-in-pan, but I think I am actually right about this one: Nice try, Lyft. You can pry my keys from my cold dead hands.
Even if it doesn’t obliterate personal car ownership, ride sharing is shown to be on the rise, especially in urban areas.
So what kind of impact might this have on the manufacturing economy? Automakers have been scrambling to establish partnerships that mash-up ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles, in an effort the Detroit Free Press described as a roll of the dice. The idea is that automakers need to find a way to offset whatever decrease in personal car ownership would come with an increase in ride-sharing, therefore partnerships could build the foundation for companies like Uber or Lyft to offer leases of specific makes or models for their drivers.
But experts are dramatically mixed on how big this dip in personal car ownership will actually be. Barclay’s estimates it will drop by 40 percent in the next 25 years in the U.S. But compare that to Boston Consulting Group, who took a more global view: BCG found the greatest impact on new car sales will be in Asia-Pacific and Europe, where the model makes more sense due to larger urban populations. BCG says sales in the U.S. should fall by only 52,000 cars, or 0.3 percent, due to ridesharing in the next five years.