The coming “revolution” in transport—hiring automotive services rather than owning a car—isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:
Car ownership will soon be a thing of the past, some say.
Instead of buying a car every so often and driving that car for a period of years – and owning the car – people will simply tap an app and rent a car by the hour or day; whatever their need at the moment happens to be.
It sounds breezy – and oh-so-easy!
This may indeed be our metrosexualized future . . . god help us. But not for those reasons. There are always other reasons. The real reasons.
There is money to be made, naturally. Great huge stacks of it. Someone with a calculator and the instinct of a Don King or Colonel Parker did a little math and figured out that it would be orders of magnitude more profitable to rentpeople cars than sell people cars.
You can only sell a car to one person at a time, after all.
But rent? By the hour?
Theoretically – and probably, actually – you could keep a given car working like a Filipino Lady Boy, almost 24-7. Pimping the ride to one “John” after the next. With carpet vacuuming and Febreze in between.
Almost no down time.
The car that brings in say $400/month as a sale brings in that much – or more – in a week – as a rental. No wonder the stampede toward “transportation as a service.” GM especially – which is already implementing this via its Maven app in the New York City area.
It is the equivalent of discovering a new Ghawar oil field under Brooklyn. The price of real estate just went up.
It also gives the manufacturers – the GM corporate – direct access to your wallet (via revolving credit) which must be giving multiple orgasms to the people in GM’s accounting department. Dealers will be cut out of the picture – at best, reduced to parking lot attendants and service depots, the business side of that between them and the manufacturers, all costs of course folded into the rental fee charged to you.
To continue reading: Transportation as a “Service”