Ride-Sharing No Immediate Threat to Automakers

Nearly three-quarters of Americans either own or have access to a motor vehicle, and most of those expect to be driving themselves to where they want to go. At least in the next six months.

That’s good news for automakers, but there is also significant interest in ride-sharing programs like Uber and Lyft. and car-sharing programs like Zipcar.

Ride-sharing providers that offer mobile apps are viable alternatives for 37% of respondents to a survey conducted by Kelley Blue Book researchers. Other providers such as rental car companies (32%) and taxi/limo companies (27%) are also reasonable choices, according to the 1,916 survey respondents.

And the least likely to succeed as ride-sharing providers? Tech companies, meaning Google and, as rumors have it, Apple. That does not mean that consumers would shy away from software and other systems developed by the tech giants, but it does indicate that a relatively small number of Americans (14%) want to drive a vehicle sporting an Apple or Google hood ornament.

Dealerships as ride-sharing partners were okay with 24% of respondents, but only 16% were behind the idea of automakers providing a ride-sharing program. Similarly dealerships were among the most considered for a car-sharing program like Zipcar or Getaround.

While consumers are aware of ride- and car-sharing programs, relatively small numbers have used the programs, and the older a person is, the lower the usage rate.

The good news for automakers is that survey respondents overwhelmingly say that vehicle ownership is more reliable (81%), safer (80%), personalized (78%) and convenient (74%) than ride-sharing. The percentages are slightly lower for car-sharing, but only by one or two points.

The big attraction of vehicle ownership is the sense of independence it brings (80%) followed by a sense of pride and success (62%). Some 58% think that vehicle ownership is a smart investment.

The full report is available from Kelley Blue Book’s website.