Volvo exploring car-sharing schemes

Volvo exploring car-sharing schemes
Volvo exploring car-sharing schemes

Car sharing could be the future, or part of it at least, according to Volvo’s boss

If you think the future for motoring involves a car sitting outside your house, it may be time to think again.

Volvo’s CEO Håkan Samuelsson reckons that short-term rental will become the most popular form of car usage in the near future, followed by peer-to-peer car sharing.

Speaking in Shanghai at the launch of the Volvo S90 L, Samuelsson said that Volvo’s future role would be to provide autonomous cars as part of the mobility solution currently offered by ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. Volvo has already partnered with Uber to grow this market area.

“If you need mobility for a longer time, maybe a week, we think there will be a market for car sharing, which we are already exploring,” said Samuelsson. “While we develop into peer-to-peer car sharing, we must develop car connectivity, because these two are heavily linked.”

Customers would use a smartphone app (for example) to request a car over a relatively short term. If you needed a car for longer – effectively, your ‘own’ car – Samuelsson believes a subscription-based model will come into play. “People will pay a monthly fee, like they do for a phone contract.”

That’s similar to the personal contract purchases (PCPs) which are already the UK’s most popular way to buy a car. Traditional outright car purchasing of a car would become the fourth and smallest element in the new car market. “Some people will always want to own their own vehicles.”

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