The advent of the digital era has been accompanied by significant shifts in various sectors of the economy, including transportation. Services such as Uber, Skip the Dishes, or Airbnb, at the forefront of the rapidly expanding “Sharing Economy”, have made a substantial impact worldwide. Traditional industries have been disrupted, and new patterns of consumption are emerging. One interesting area of change is the impact of the sharing economy on the automobile sales industry, specifically used cars in Calgary.
As one of Canada’s biggest cities, Calgary is an interesting case study. In an environment increasingly influenced by the sharing economy, is there still a demand for used cars in Calgary?
One significant effect of the sharing economy is the decreased demand for car ownership, thereby impacting used car sales. With services like Uber and Lyft readily available, one might question the need for owning a vehicle, especially considering the additional costs associated with car ownership, such as insurance, repairs, and maintenance.
This shift is particularly true among the younger generation, who prioritize experiences and convenience over material possessions.
Meanwhile, the rise of car-sharing services like Car2Go and Zipcar is providing a resilient, cost-effective alternative to owning a vehicle. Individuals in Calgary and near-by areas can now rent cars hourly or daily, providing them with greater flexibility. This shift has further impacted the used car market, negating the need for consumers, particularly those on a budget, to purchase second-hand vehicles.
The sharing economy’s greener approach to transportation is also a contributing factor to the decline in vehicle sales. Many environmentally conscious Calgarians appreciate the reduced carbon footprint that comes from sharing rides or using shared vehicles instead of buying a vehicle that may eventually contribute to the city’s pollution levels.
This sustainable approach is considerable for those looking to purchase vehicles, affecting the used car market.
As you can imagine, this trend directly impacts local auto dealerships’ bottom lines. Used car dealers, who previously held a strong place in the market, compete directly with these shared-economy organizations. As a response, dealerships have to be more customer-centric, diversifying their offerings and rethinking their business models to keep pace with the changing market conditions.
While the impact of the sharing economy on the used car industry in Calgary is stark, it’s not all doom and gloom. The marketplace changes dictate adaptability. For instance, dealerships could focus more on curating quality vehicles that appeal to a segment of consumers still interested in owning older, unique, or luxury cars. Partnerships could be formed with ride- and car-sharing companies for maintenance or in providing vehicles, creating a fresh customer base.
In conclusion, while the sharing economy has undoubtedly affected the dynamics of the used car industry in Calgary, it also poses new opportunities for those willing to innovate and adapt. As the saying goes, in every crisis lies great opportunity.
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