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Technology & Innovation

Living Without a Car

As car ownership rates drop in urban areas, B.M.W. has a foreword thinking business idea. The company will rent its cars by the hour to customers in Munich, Germany.

“As populations grow—and along with them congestion and pollution concerns—the number of car owners is likely to decline per capita over the next 15 years in Tokyo, New York, London and other cities in developed countries, said Sarwant Singh, a partner at market-research firm Frost & Sullivan. With short-term car-leasing and car-sharing programs, auto makers are aiming not only to tap into customers who don’t own cars, but to draw them to the brand in the event they do eventually want to buy or upgrade to a new car, he said. BMW’s 12-month pilot program, called ‘BMW on Demand,’ will allow drivers near its Munich headquarters to rent various models from its product lineup.”


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