A fundamental change is coming in the automotive world, and the industry’s biggest players plan to be prepared.
We’ve covered the alliances between automakers and tech giants like Google and Apple in the race to create the first autonomous car. Now, some of the biggest automakers in the world are preparing for the other trend that’s been threatening to cut into the traditional auto market: ridesharing.
The myth that millennials have no interest in owning a car and are content to simply rideshare seems to have been debunked, with sales numbers among millennials on the rise, which we covered here. However, that doesn’t mean that Uber and similar companies won’t continue to rise in popularity, and automakers are looking to make ridesharing a part of a diversified revenue stream in the years to come.
General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen and BMW have invested directly into ridesharing companies. GM plans to invest $500 million in Lyft, while Toyota bought an undisclosed stake in Uber. Volkswagen and BMW have invested in smaller companies, Gett and Scoop, respectively.
Automakers are trying to get ahead of the curve, and avoid a fate like the one record companies met when they continued to deny the threat that digital music posed to their bottom lines. By investing in ridesharing, the new age of driving might feature less drivers, but just as many profits.