Who needs a new car when there’s Uber? Riders hold off on upgrading wheels

Uber replacing car ownership

Ride-hailing services like Uber are giving customers a reason to think twice before buying a car.

(Thierry Roge /AFP/Getty Images)

Uber’s grand plan to replace car ownership is inching closer to reality.

In a recent survey of 2,000 adults ages 18 to 64 conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates, 18% of respondents said they had used Uber in the past year, and of those people, 22% said they are likely to hold off on buying a new car because of the availability of the service.

According to the research consulting firm, it’s evidence that the San Francisco company not only is disrupting the taxi and limo industry, it’s also disrupting the entire car industry — an intention Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick made clear when he previously said he planned to make car ownership “a thing of the past.”

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“It’s rare that a brand transforms the way we live in such a short amount of time, but that’s exactly what Uber has done,” said the study’s author and director of digital research at Magid, Andrew Hare. “Even if only a modest number of consumers begin to prioritize car ‘sharing’ over ownership, the car industry is in trouble.”

And if that weren’t enough, Uber has plans to disrupt even itself: The company announced a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University earlier this year to develop self-driving cars, so pretty soon, Uber drivers also may be in trouble.  

Twitter: @traceylien

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