Zipcar targets 'Millennials'
As car ownership becomes less attractive, 18- to 34-year-olds are becoming the most lucrative and influential market segment for the car-sharing company.
Zipcar competes with traditional car-rental companies like Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ), Avis Budget Group (CAR) and car-sharing services like Connect by Hertz, Enterprise's WeCar, UHaul's UCarShare and City Car Share.
Millennials formed about 23% of the U.S. population in 2010. The study examined the generation's attitudes toward personal transportation and car ownership and found them to be increasingly adoptive of collaborative consumption. The younger generation increasingly values access to cars over personal ownership. More than three-quarters (78%) of 18- to 34-year-old respondents conceded to challenges of car ownership with high gas prices, parking and maintenance costs. The study also noted social media and concern for environment as factors for Millennials driving less. This makes the age group strong adopters of car-sharing, and therefore the most lucrative and influential market segment for Zipcar.
Zipcar has gradually expanded its presence on over 250 U.S. campuses with all-inclusive rates that cover parking, gas, insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance. It has also entered into a two-year strategic alliance with Ford for its campus operations, offering attractive rates for student members.
University campuses not only serve as significant markets for Zipcar but renting cars to students also constitutes a long-term marketing strategy. Students who use Zipcars while in college are more likely to subscribe to Zipcar car-sharing than car ownership when they enter the job market. Zipcar is also attractive to the segment of students who face age restrictions with traditional car-rental companies.
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