One Zipcar Takes 15 Autos Off the Road: CEO

Wednesday, 11 Apr 2012 | 2:38 PM ET

The head of Zipcar told CNBC Wednesday an expanded partnership with Honda will give its members new hybrid and electric models to drive and maybe even put a dent in the auto industry.

2012 Honda Insight EX
Source: Honda
2012 Honda Insight EX

"We see our competition [as] car ownership" rather than rental car companies such as Hertz

, Scott Griffith told Squawk on the Street. "Half of our member base either sells a car or chooses not to buy a car as a result of our service. So every car we put on the road takes 15 away."

At the same time, the car-sharing company's mainly urban members like driving Hondas, and now they'll have more technologies at their disposal, saving them the cost of owning a car in the city. The company plans to add several hybrid models, including the Insight and CR-V compact crossover.

Zipcar CEO on Honda Partnership
Zipcar announces that Honda will become a preferred partner with a specific focus on hybrid and electric vehicles. Scott Griffith, Zipcar chairman and CEO, discusses the new partnership, the car sharing business, and rising gas prices.

But don't expect Zipcar to put Ford out of business. "I don't think it's happening aggressively in the cities where we operate," Griffith said of Zipcar members shedding their cars. "What we're seeing is as the economy goes up, both can thrive quite well. We’re going to help households save money, and the car companies are going to come together like this Honda deal."

Zipcar will get some "economic benefits" from the expanded partnership, Griffith said, but he said Zipcar's efforts to expand throughout Europe won't be directly subsidized by Honda.

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