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  • Zipcar's Emerging Competitive Advantages [View article]
    Party- I agree with the comparison to Netflix vs. Blockbuster. In fact, I'm not sure I can think of any counter-examples, where an established business was disrupted by a new service model/technological innovation but then came back to beat the disruptive company at its own game. Can anyone else?

    dbtunr- The story is not about technology or patents, but the network effect, economies of scale, and brand. Besides, $10/vehicle/month is not a material cost. That's $0.33/vehicle/day, compared to ZIP's total fleet expense of $50/vehicle/day
    Jun 29, 2012. 11:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zipcar Has Tremendous Potential [View article]
    biobat: Thanks for the comment. Management claims that each Zipcar takes 15 cars off the road. By comparison, in the first quarter they had around 76 members per vehicle. The difference between those two numbers may account for the members who wouldn't have owned cars even without Zipcar.
    Jun 25, 2012. 08:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zipcar Has Tremendous Potential [View article]
    That was an interesting development (you can read about it at http://tbd.ly/PWmOuv). Those spots ended up going for almost $300/month. Zipcar wisely declined to bid at those levels since they can rent commercial spots with comparable convenience for much less. Paying irrational prices for parking is no way to build a business. Besides, this kind of arrangement is an exception within Zipcar's model (less than 10% of their D.C. fleet was affected). Management's information about system-wide parking costs is more relevant than an anecdote.
    Jun 24, 2012. 01:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Zipcar Has Tremendous Potential [View article]
    Thanks for the comment, Moon. Listen to the webcast from the May 7 Jefferies conference, which you can find here: http://bit.ly/MFR64n. Management says that parking costs are actually declining in recent years (see slide 28 from the presentation- parking costs down 5% in 2011 vs. 2008 in established markets). In most cases, ZIP gets its spaces from commercial lots at competitive rates. I addressed ZIP's competitive advantages, particularly relative to traditional car rental companies, in a recent post on my blog. I will try to post that article to Seeking Alpha as well sometime this week.
    Jun 24, 2012. 02:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zipcar Has Tremendous Potential [View article]
    Thanks for the comments so far. I intend to address competitive advantages and capital intensity in future posts. In the meantime, subscribe to my blog for the most timely articles!
    Jun 22, 2012. 04:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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