Top 10 automotive business ideas in 2006

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We’re deviating from our regular schedule to bring you the best new business ideas of 2006. Each day, we’ll feature our personal favorites from 20 industries we’ve tracked throughout the year. First up: automotive. Enjoy!

  1. Driver’s education for customers: Maruti Udyog, India’s largest car manufacturer, has taken a matter-of-fact approach to broadening its customer base. Want more people to buy your cars? Teach them to drive! More »
  2. Five star hotel for cars: The Engine Room in Belgium not only offers secure and swanky warehouse storage for members’ automotive treasures, but now also offers car-sharing for an exclusive range of vehicles. More »
  3. The going is green (and electric): Designed in California and manufactured in India, GoinGreen’s G-Wiz electric cars are a hit in London, where the company has sold over 600 units, making London the electric car capital of the world. More »
  4. First car brand drives into Second Life: Scion became first automaker to run a campaign in Second Life, releasing virtual cars in the popular metaverse. More »
  5. Fractional supercar ownership: Offering “intelligent supercar ownership,” écurie25 is a club that gives members the right to drive fine automobiles for 30-40 days per year. More »
  6. Mobile exchange for parking spaces: SpotScout claims to be the world’s first mobile exchange marketplace for parking spots, connecting parking spaces with drivers that are desperately seeking them. Urban planners estimate that as much as 80 percent of traffic on some city streets comes from motorists aimlessly circling blocks in search of a place to park. More »
  7. Greener drivers ed: Drivers Ed Direct aims to revolutionize the drivers education industry, by getting rid of “old cars, dimly-lit sterile classrooms and out-of-touch instructors”. Not only have the old cars been replaced by brand new cars, they’ve been replaced by gas-electric hybrids: the school’s entire fleet is hybrid. More »
  8. Cabs for and by women: In London alone, 10 women are attacked each month after getting into an unlicensed mini-cab. No wonder that many women feel safer taking a taxi driven by a woman. Pink Ladies spotted a business opportunity, and created the UK’s first women-only private car hire franchise. More »
  9. MySpace for car lovers: MySpace, the social networking website, is home to more than 54 million people, most of whom are teenagers. And what MySpace has done for teens, CarSpace (launched February 2006), hopes to do for people who enjoy, love, obsess over cars. More »
  10. Auto shops by the hour: Plenty of consumers around the world enjoy tinkering with their cars, preferably surrounded by professional looking tools and equipment, in a state- of the art garage/auto shop. More »
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