Shared mobility shifts Avis’ ride-sharing focus up a gear

In an age of collaborative consumption, the booming sharing economy is spurring car rental giant Avis Budget Group to navigate creative ways to grow the size and share of the travel pie through the inking of partnerships with multiple peer-to-peer car sharing players.

The latest to sign a multi-year deal with Avis is ride-hailing company Lyft. Under this partnership, Avis will contribute thousands of vehicles from its fleet of 600,000 to the Lyft Express Drive programme in cities across North America.

Avis will contribute thousands of vehicles from its fleet of 600,000 to the Lyft Express Drive programme

In Asia-Pacific, Avis has launched various strategic initiatives with popular local ride-sharing players, including China’s Didi Chuxing and Singapore’s Grab. Avis Philippines – together with Avis Global and Metro Davao Taxi Association – also developed Hirna, a taxi-hailing app that aims to improve taxi services in key cities outside Manila.

Angeline Tang, Avis’ regional director – leisure travel & partnerships, Asia, told TTG Asia: “Ride-hailing companies are our allies, not competitors. The more opportunities consumers have for mobility that do not involve owning their own car, the more we benefit.

“As this decline in ownership continues, the future holds a greater need for more, and more flexible mobility options, which explains why the pie is getting bigger, not shrinking or just being divided up differently.”

On average, Avis reports mileage of some 724km over four rental days, or 177km per rental day. In comparison, on shorter-length rentals – lasting over one to two days – the mileage per day increases, described Tang. Such cases, for which ride-hailing are not economical, are where car rentals come in, she said.

Avis also works with Luxury Retreats, acquired by Airbnb in February 2017, as the official mobility partner of the full-service premium villa rental company.

Further, in 2013, Avis acquired car-sharing network Zipcar, which has more than one million members across the world. This movement is poised to give Avis “a foothold in the rapidly growing world of collaborative consumption”, explained Tang.

She added: “By working with ride-hailing players, we can address the growing demand for transportation in key markets, and further leverage our assets.”

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