Several Chinese auto and transportation industry leaders are preparing for a future in which people share cars, rather than own them individually.
"(The new generation), they're not interested in the ownership. They're probably more interested in accessibility," Freeman Shen, founder and CEO of Chinese electric car company WM Motor, said last week at CNBC's East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China.
Technological advances in the last several years have aided the rise of multibillion-dollar ride-hailing giants such as Uber and Didi. They, in turn, have challenged the traditional taxi driver system and cultivated a habit of on-demand car services for tens of millions of users globally despite ongoing safety concerns. Traditional automakers, many already trying to navigate rising interest in the electric vehicle market, are paying close attention to the ride sharing trend. Notably, General Motors is testing the waters with its own rental program.
In China, Feng Xing Ya, general manager of Guangzhou-based automaker GAC, also said the future of the auto industry lies in car sharing.
"(It's) a challenge for the auto industry because people may buy fewer cars," Feng said in Mandarin, according to a CNBC translation, during a Nov. 27 conference session.