Ford looks at flex­i­ble car own­er­ship

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

FLEX­I­BLE USE AND OWN­ER­SHIP

SAN FRAN­CISCO — Ford Mo­tor Com­pany re­cently an­nounced the next phase of its Ford Smart Mo­bil­ity plan, in­clud­ing new strate­gic ar­eas of fo­cus, new pi­lot pro­grammes and new mo­bil­ity prod­uct ex­per­i­ments. Ford Mo­tor Credit Com­pany launched Peer-2-Peer Car Shar­ing — a pi­lot pro­gramme for se­lect cus­tomers in six U.S. cities and in Lon­don.

Ford Credit is invit­ing 14 000 and 12 000 cus­tomers in six U.S. cities and Lon­don, re­spec­tively, to sign up to rent their Ford credit-fi­nanced ve­hi­cles to pre­screened driv­ers for short-term use, off­set­ting monthly ve­hi­cle own­er­ship costs.

U.S. cus­tomers par­tic­i­pate through the Web-based, mo­bile-friendly soft­ware of ride-share com­pany Ge­taround, while Lon­don driv­ers con­nect through a sim­i­lar rental sys­tem of easyCar Club.

“Con­sumers tell us they are in­ter­ested in shar­ing the costs of ve­hi­cle own­er­ship, and this pro­gramme will help us un­der­stand how much that ex­tends to cus­tomers who are fi­nanc­ing a Ford ve­hi­cle,” said David McClel­land, Ford Credit vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing.

“As most ve­hi­cles are parked and out of use much of the time, this can help us gauge our cus­tomers’ de­sires to pick up ex­tra cash and keep their ve­hi­cles in use.”

New find­ings from Penn Schoen Ber­land, an in­de­pen­dent re­search com­pany, show: • one third of Mil­len­ni­als in the United States are in­ter­ested in rent­ing out their be­long­ings to sup­ple­ment their in­come; • young Amer­i­cans rank car rides sec­ond only to book lend­ing as things they are most open to shar­ing; • more than half of Mil­len­ni­als re­port be­ing open to shar­ing rides with oth­ers; • half of Mil­len­nial and Gen­er­a­tion Z con­sumers see money sav­ing as the top ad­van­tage to shar­ing goods and ser­vices; and • for 40%, it’s the op­por­tu­nity to try new prod­ucts, while for 33%, it’s hav­ing ac­cess to more op­tions.

The pi­lot runs un­til Novem­ber.

EASY PARK­ING IN LON­DON

Ford also re­cently an­nounced Go­Drive, an on-de­mand, public car-shar­ing pi­lot. The ser­vice of­fers flex­i­ble, prac­ti­cal and af­ford­able ac­cess to a fleet of cars for one-way jour­neys with easy park­ing through­out Lon­don.

The pi­lot of­fers Lon­don­ers an easy way to ac­cess trans­porta­tion through: • 50 cars po­si­tioned in 20 lo­ca­tions; • one-way trips with park­ing; and • pay-as-you-go, per-minute pric­ing cov­ers all fees. — WR.

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