QUEBEC, April 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Communauto, the company that introduced
carsharing to North America, hopes that the launch of Zipcar's IPO on
the NASDAQ this week will turn the organization towards a more
environmentally and economically sustainable model of carsharing.
"Communauto has always been concerned by Zipcar's difficult economic
situation - which was highlighted by the NASDAQ's qualifying process* -
and its adoption of a commercial (rather than an environmental)
orientation, both of which could affect the image of carsharing in the
eyes of the government as well as the general public. It would be
disappointing if, after 10 years of operation, Zipcar's lack of
profitability is viewed as a failure of the carsharing concept rather
than a failure of the business model adopted by the company: one which
is halfway between a traditional car rental model and carsharing,"
declared Mr. Benoît Robert, Founder and CEO of Communauto.
The strong economic performance shown in recent years by numerous
carsharing organizations that have stayed loyal to the social, urban,
and environmental motivations that gave birth to this industry, as
opposed to moving to a more commercially-motivated model, proves the
strength of their business model which should inspire Zipcar's present
and future shareholders.
The majority of these organizations have recently come together as part
of the CarSharing Association (www.carsharing.org).
"We are convinced that public pressure will force Zipcar to put its
financial affairs in order and to be inspired by the good practices
developed elsewhere, which could allow it to reconcile its economical,
ethical and environmental objectives as other companies have done, such
as Communauto in Quebec and Mobility in Switzerland. The potential
arrival of a large group of investors sensitive to these issues to
Zipcar's stockholders could push the company in that direction. We view
this evolution as an important and necessary step, as it is only
through Zipcar's financial health and the consistency of its actions
with its fundamental mission that Zipcar's new investors can contribute
to the strengthening of the carsharing industry."
*Zipcar has accumulated, to date, a deficit of over $65 million. The
available results for the 2010 fiscal year show a deficit of $14.1
million (for a revenue of $186.1 million), compared to a deficit of
$4.6 million the previous year.
Communauto, the oldest carsharing service in North America, is a company
with an urban, social and environmental mission that serves more than
23,000 users thanks to a fleet of some 1,200 self-service cars,
available 24/7, in combination with public transit and active
transportation modes. Communauto vehicles are found in more than 350
stations, located in Montréal, Québec City, Gatineau and Sherbrooke.
For more information about Communauto and its network of parking
stations, visit: www.communauto.com.
For further information:
Director of Development and Public Relations
Tel: 514 499-8099 extension 2119