The Amcham team now has a “company car.” More precisely, we in the team have started to share a car provided by Hertz between us.
Is there something that would be useful for everyone to know about car-sharing? We asked Jaakko Haikonen, Director of Car Sharing Services at the global car-renting company’s Finnish affiliate.
Amcham: Thanks Jaakko for agreeing to speak with us. And, most of all, thanks for the car.
JH: You’re very welcome. We can’t wait to hear how it pans out.
Amcham: Well, we’re pretty proud to have an Amcham-branded car to get around. It allows us to leave from the front door of our “South Beach” office instead of trying to optimize with the public transportation.
JH: Sounds good. It is always exciting to introduce a new service to the market and see it take off. We look forward to learning how the team coordination has worked out. We also want to be sure the software runs smoothly before we make corporate car-sharing more widely available.
Amcham: Brilliant. And this fits well. At Amcham, our job is to know what is happening in the market.
Talking of which, would you be able to condense the most critical facts or trends into three bullets?
JH: I can certainly try. This is what I at the moment see from my vantage point. Ready?
Car-sharing has grown globally 450% since 2009. With our longer distances and smaller population density it has been slower to pick up here in Finland, but the mentality is there. Studies show that most young people don’t see car ownership in their future. And anyway, even in Finland we’ve gone from couple to over 200 shared cars in a few years. It’s definitely on the growth here, too, although the numbers are still small.
Amcham: OK, so point number one: a trend is on its way. What else?
JH: Mark my words: in five years, every car-rental company will offer car-sharing. New opportunities, new ways to organize your life.
Amcham: Clear enough. Services will follow demand. What’s the third thing we should be aware of?
JH: The car industry will not, of course, be spared of disruption. With the ease technology brings, sharing will be a one huge disruptive element for car manufacturing. Not the only one, though.
Amcham: So, the developments will change the way we build cars and manufacture them.
Thank you. Change to the consumer, to the car-rental industry and manufacturing.
Amcham: We’ll keep our eyes open. Today the car will head to Akaa to visit member company Elematic. Here we come!