Car-sharing on road to fast growth, study says; China offers potential

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-2-25 22:28:03

The car-sharing sector will continue to grow fast in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and North America, and it has the potential to grow in the Chinese market, according to a report released Thursday by the US-based Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

In the Asia-Pacific region, which is currently the largest market, there are 2.3 million users and 33,000 vehicles, followed by Europe, which has 2.1 million users and 31,000 vehicles, and North America with 1.5 million users and 22,000 vehicles, according to the report.

The report said user numbers in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and North America will continue to grow and could reach 15 million, 14 million and 6 million, respectively, by 2021.

In China, the car-sharing sector has maintained "relatively good momentum," and there are "opportunities" for the industry to grow, Xu Gang, a BCG partner and a coauthor of the report, told a briefing in Beijing Thursday. 

Xu said car-sharing services could work well with China's strategy to boost the number of new-energy vehicles, because the practice of sharing vehicles could help ease concerns over traffic congestion and the environment.

Intensifying traffic congestion, improving public transportation and the increasing cost of living in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have made it less attractive for some residents to own cars, which could boost the car-sharing sector, the report said.

"That is a great business model," said a driver with domestic car-hailing app Didi Chuxing in Beijing, who asked to remain anonymous. The driver said car-sharing has great market potential in Beijing because "that's really convenient and probably a lot cheaper than owning a car in Beijing."   

Car-sharing services could help users cut the cost of owning a car, the BCG report said. It also said the growth of the car-sharing sector could have some impact on sales of new cars, but it will reduce sales by only 1 percent.

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