Zipcar

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Introduction

Zipcar is a car-sharing organization that offers motor vehicle services to its members. This organization was started in January 2000 by Robin Chase and Antje Danielson. The current Chief Executive officer and Chairman of Zipcar is Scott Griffiths. The company has its headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It shares vehicles to its members and bills them by the hour. Members of Zipcar are referred to by the company as ‘Zipsters’. The company has grown by leaps to stand out at an annual profit of 70 million dollars a year. This makes it to be one of the largest car sharing companies in the United States. It has a wide range of automobiles for its members to choose from including Volvos, mini coopers, pickup trucks and many more. Each vehicle has a designated parking space in a street or parking spot within the members’ area. It serves over 14 major markets in North America and Europe such as Boston, Portland, Vancouver, London and many others. Members are issued access cards. This allows one to unlock the doors in case the keys are still inside the automobile. They can make reservations online or by making a call. Zipcar allows its members to make reservations even up to a year in advance. It also offers an application on the iPhone. This application enables members to honk the horn so as to locate the car and also to unlock the doors. Zipcar charges an application fee only once along with an annual fee. These are charged depending on the market prices. Reservation rates vary depending on day of the week, model of the vehicle and the market. Gas and parking prices are included in the reservation rates. In 2007, Zipcar combined with Flexcar, a rival company, to build a car-sharing corporation with a nationwide reach. Zipcar has made significant contributions to the environment. This system of car-sharing encourages individuals to use cars only when they need to. Persons with their own cars tend to drive them whenever they want even when it is not necessary. This exposes the air to unnecessary emissions of carbon dioxide. On the contrary, Zipcars enable people to use cars when need arises. Therefore, use of Zipcar services greatly reduces air pollution.

Environment
In addition to reduction in levels of air pollution, the use of Zipcar services leads to reduced congestion on the roads. It also leads to reduced total mileage on vehicles implying that less fuel is used. The significance of Zipcar to the environment and the local communities is quite apparent in that it has become very important in the metropolitan transportation mix. A number of residents in urban areas have increased their use of public transportation, with a number of them getting rid of their own cars so as to make use of car sharing services such as Zipcar. The most effective way of reducing emission of greenhouse gases into the environment is by reducing the number of vehicles on the roads. This is what Zipcar aims to do through their car sharing services. The more individuals are encouraged to use this car-sharing service the less they make use of their own personal vehicles, thereby reducing congestion on the roads. As Zipcar progresses, it seeks to find even more ways to protect the surrounding and reduce risks that the environment is exposed to.

Segmentation
Market segmentation refers to the division of the targeted market into subsets so as target prospects that will give the highest returns. A market segment is a section of individuals with like traits that make them demand the same products and services. Market segmentation allows a company to focus their resources on market segments that yield the highest returns. An effective market segment is one that has its own unique needs. Individuals in this segment have the same needs. In addition, reaction of the members of this segment to market stimuli should be the same. Market segmentation can be done on a number of bases. Zipcar has done this on four...
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