Audi Might Be Ready To Rent You A Car Instead Of Selling One
14 February 2017 - Carbuzz
Many of the big automakers are gearing up for a future where people share vehicles instead of owning them.
Each company seems to have a different idea of how this future might work. Mercedes-Benz wants to create a sort of Airbnb for cars, and Tesla wants your car to be able to drive by itself and earn you money on the side. Audi has also prepared for this future where people will inevitably buy fewer cars. Currently, Audi has a goal of selling 2 million cars per year, and just finished 2016 by selling a record 1.87 million cars.
In an interview with Autocar, Audi sales and marketing boss Dietmar Voggenreiter said that Volkswagen Group's strategy for 2025 was ready for a "sharing economy", with "more ride sharing and more mobility". Voggenreiter pointed to a new pilot program in Hong Kong called "Audi On Demand". The program is currently being operated in an apartment building with 1,000 flats but only 150 parking spaces. Residents of the building are able to rent a Q7, TT RS, or A3 from an app on their phone from any of those 150 spaces. Cadillac has a similar new program that allows customers to lease every car in the Cadillac lineup for a flat rate of $1,500 per month. We love the idea, but Cadillac hasn't been able to keep up with demand.
The concept of being able to live in an apartment where you don't need to own a car is interesting, but we could also just rent a sports car, SUV, or sedan based on what you needed on a particular day. Apartment rental firms could sign deals with certain automakers, and renting an apartment could become more than just looking at the neighborhood and how many bedrooms it has. Shoppers would have to see which cars can be rented to make a decision. If the apartment in the better neighborhood only had a Toyota Prius to rent, we would much rather take the apartment that was worse if it had a Corvette Z06 available.