Start your engines.
Or in this case, the engine of the car you are sharing. The popular programs are about to see major automakers jump into the game. Today Daimler is launching car2go in Austin, Texas. But make no mistake, this is just the start of automakers and rental car companies either jumping into or expanding their car sharing programs.
Car2go will have 200 smart fortwo cars available on demand for people who want to drive around the Texas capital. The cost - 35 cents per minute. That includes gas, insurance, and designated parking spaces in Austin. The company will also have special rates for one day or multiple day uses.
Daimler joins the growing field of car sharing programs.
According to the folks at the University of California Berkeley 323,681 people belong to one or more of the 26 car share programs around the U.S. You may have heard of programs like , but there are many others that are not as well known.
What all the companies know is there is growing demand for car sharing. From cities to suburbs, people who can't afford or don't want the expense that goes with leasing and owning a car are joining car share programs.
So it's only natural Daimler and the major automakers are getting into he game. It exposes their cars to the public, can be used for test marketing, and is a natural extension.
No wonder other auto makers are looking at following Daimler’s lead.
If I were running an automaker, I'd start up a car share program in every major college town. You get your cars in front of young drivers, many who will eventually be buyers, and could generate the type of exposure needed to change perceptions.
Car sharing is not only here it's also growing.
Click on Ticker to Track Corporate News:
- Ford Motor
- Toyota Motor
- Honda Motor
Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com