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Zipcar Case Study Solution Format

Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2001 (Revised August 2005)


by Myra M. Hart and Wendy Carter


Provides a detailed description of the processes and tasks associated with creating a new venture in an emerging industry (subscription car-sharing for urban dwellers). Chronicles the entrepreneur's concept development, industry analysis, market research, identity definition, and brand building. Also provides background on writing the business plan, creating a budget and building financials, developing a management team, creating business partnerships, and financing the businesses.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Financing and Loans; Leadership Development; Venture Capital; Business Strategy; Growth and Development Strategy; Business Plan; Budgets and Budgeting; Management Teams; Partners and Partnerships; Marketing Strategy; Brands and Branding; Auto Industry; Service Industry;

Zipcar Case Study Analysis

2480 WordsNov 26th, 201210 Pages

[Case: Zipcar] Zipcar’s SWOT and financial analysis a) Strengths Firstly, Zipcar seized 80% of US market share, making it the strong player in the market. Secondly, as the company is able to acquire its competitors (Flexcar-US, Streetcar Ltd-UK), they can reduce the competitors as well as gain those market shares and customer bases from those 2 companies. Thirdly, Zipcar’s customer-friendly and disruptive business model is what makes it unique. They leverages accessibility, make it available close to where people live or work and need access to vehicle, which is one of the threat of car renting. The company also allows the members to use a car when required, which provides true flexibility. Supported by advanced technology (RFID System r),…show more content…

In consequent, they have limit cash to pay for daily operating costs that get higher every day and they would finally have to go out of the business. Second, there is challenge of finding convenient parking lots for its vehicles especially in densely populated cities such as New York and London. A start-up business may find it difficult to anticipate cost of parking. Moreover, there are different preferences of car in different markets. It is hard for a start-up company to meet every need of the consumers. Finally, the limitation of technology makes it hard for a start-up company to catch up with the big players in the market. It’s probably because of the limited capital and inability to access to such innovation. With advanced technology, the big players can easily operate their businesses and provides much convenience more than a start-up company, which results in a great distance between them to catch up with. Such first mover as Zipcar can avoid uncertainties by creating barrier to entry, avoid lockingin to inappropriate models, and have minimal upfront costs. They focused positioning of the Zipcar brand and clear communication of its value proposition. Moreover, they emphasize on the high quality service and consistent performance. Although Zipcar is not the first car share venture in the U.S., the company had

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