Zipcar Founder Questions Future of Company

January 2, 2013

Big changes are ahead for Zipcar, Inc., the worldwide car sharing network as the company announced today  that car rental giant Avis Budget Group is buying the Cambridge-based company for approximately $500 million.

Robin Chase, co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar and founder of Paris-based Buzzcar, says it’s a smart move for Avis, and a profitable one for Zipcar. But Chase also asks whether Avis’ acquisition will create a culture clash for Zipcar’s devoted members.

Car sharing is not car rental and I’ve known that from the beginning, and the question is — does Avis understand that? Will they be able to maintain a cutting edge innovation and bring together a community of people who want to be co-creators and participants in a new style of consumerism? That will be the question,” Chase said.

Avis Budget expects to generate $50 to $70 million in annual cost savings by using both companies’ fleets to meet the demands of both renters and car-sharers.

If Zipcar shareholders approve, the deal is expected to be completed by spring of this year.

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