Share and share alike

  16 January 2017

Car sharing – two words likely to bring out any self respecting auto retailer in a cold sweat. The classic perception that your business will suffer through a lack of sales and reduced customer visits is reasonable. It is, at least, if the big OEMs take the activity in house, seeking to control the experience from end to end.

Nissan should be applauded, then, for its approach to car sharing. Our news story demonstrates the Japanese OEM’s willingness to experiment with the concept and, crucially, see the auto retailer as a friend not a foe. Too often you hear tales of retailers being cut out of the car sharing equation, as a company is encouraged to deal directly with an OEM, from car procurement to servicing and operating tasks. 

Not this time, which should bring relief to retailers wondering how to attract millennials and other non-owners in urban areas eschewing cars for public transport and ride sharing. And Nissan’s approach is a curious but inventive one; by matching users in a similar way to a dating agency, there’s a good chance users will be alike but not the same. That’s crucial so that the car is used at different times of the day, week or month. After all, if they wanted it all at the same time the project would fail.

Also, the fact that its a retailer inclusive scheme should ensure users – and potential future buyers – are actively directed to the retailer for pick-up and servicing duties. If the experiences are positive, there’s every chance that word of mouth promotion will spread to family and friends. You can’t buy that level of advertising online or in the local press.

Iain Dooley

Editor, Agenda

Auto Retail Network

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