The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.NEW YORK ( Trefis) -- Zipcar's ( ZIP) U.S. expansion in 2011 focused mainly on universities and college campuses. The company says that 18- to-34 year olds represent its most important market and hold the key to Zipcar's popularity and the overall expansion of the car-sharing market. From tying up with Ford to launching the Facebook app and investing in the college P2P car-sharing Wheelz, Zipcar is pulling out all the stops to become the favorite among young drivers.
It recently invested in the first peer-to-peer (P2P) car-sharing company targeting college campus communities, Wheelz, acknowledging the potential of P2P sharing in contributing to the expansion of the overall car-sharing market. Zipcar has vast experience in operating car-sharing programs in college campuses across the U.S., and together with Wheelz, it can tap the growing popularity of P2P car-sharing on campuses. Last year, Zipcar also launched a Facebook application "Reserve a Zipcar" allowing its members to book Zipcars or modify and cancel reservations directly through Facebook. It is estimated that 88% Zipcar users are also Facebook users who spend roughly 15 hours a day on the social network, a large proportion of which are young college students. The newly launched Facebook app has thus made car-sharing more accessible to the college communities. We currently estimate Zipcar membership in North America can reach 1.9 million by the end of the Trefis forecast period. However, there could be a 20% downside to the Trefis price estimate if the market growth is slower and Zipcar membership in North America manages to reach just 1.5 million by the end our forecast period. Drag the trend-line to understand the impact of membership growth trends on Zipcar's stock price. We have a
$22 Trefis price estimate for Zipcar , which implies a premium of 50% to the current market price. Click here to find out how a company's products impact its stock price at Trefis Like our charts? Embed them in your own posts using the Trefis Wordpress Plugin.