Ivan Agapchev, CEO and Co-Founder of TECHIIA Motorsports and Fleetsy, talks about the main challenges facing the car-sharing industry.
Nearly two years after the start of a pandemic, I’m still watching the car-sharing industry recover from it. Many companies went bankrupt or left the market. But there are also those who not only survived the crisis but also made a profit for the first time in several years.
Optimism is added by the
High demand and low supply
The first months of the pandemic were disastrous. Hertz (which also owns Thrifty and Dollar)
Referring to a Jefferies Group report, the Washington Post
In 2021, many took measures unprecedented for the American market – they started buying used cars from auctions, which they themselves sold 8-10 months ago. And if earlier companies tried to “get rid of” a car before the odometer exceeded 40,000 miles, now such vehicles were returned to the fleet.
New business models
For me, joining the platform turned out to be the best option to start for several reasons. With a budget of $20,000, the only thing I could afford was to buy one car or lease a dozen. I chose the second option, then other people’s cars were added to it.
Turo allows me to rent cars owned by other people for a percentage or a flat rate. This eliminates the maintenance costs, and if you repair a car, as in my case, at your own service, this opens up new money-making opportunities.
Despite the imperfections of the platform, the numbers speak for themselves: in 2020, while other players were trying to get at least some help from the state,
Survive the global auto industry crisis
Until the end of 2020, there were no problems with the supply – customers received cars from overcrowded warehouses. But then everyone started having problems. After the start of the pandemic, China’s largest ports closed, and a bunch of factories stopped at the same time – first in China, and then around the world. It was the start of the semiconductor crisis, due to which the
Will things get back to normal and when? It’s hard for me to say. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger
Make a plan B in case of a new crisis
It seems that now no one is sure things will not go as bad as in 2020. Having a plan B was the key to business survival in the early months of the pandemic.
The Thrifty service is for sure in my top of the great reactions to the 2020 crisis. While competitors were thinking about how to reduce costs, the service found a new source of income. The company noticed that in the midst of the lockdown, food delivery services could not cope with orders. Thrifty offered couriers to use their cars at a discount, which helped them quickly find a new source of income.
Allocate funds to invest in micromobility and self-driving vehicles
I am sure that the car-sharing market has a bright future. Owning a car in big cities is no longer a necessity. Municipalities are developing urban transport, and people are increasingly opting for taxis, short-term rentals, public and micro transport.
Affordable car-sharing services have excellent chances to become an alternative to a personal car. This is an important step that will make us more mobile, our cities more comfortable, and also reduce our impact on the environment.
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