Ford is introducing their own version of ride sharing in Austin with a twist. You and family or a group of friends can now band together to lease a new car from Ford – as a group together. It’s as simple as that to share a ride in a brand new vehicle from Ford.
You usually think of the Detroit Auto Show (formally known as the North American International Auto Show or NAIAS) to be all about showing media and consumers what is new and hot or coming down the road – pardon the pun – in the automotive world global marketplace. In fact, not so much anymore. Though the focus is still the vehicles, the show activities now also include a range of initiatives to enhance the various elements of the consumer/vehicle/manufacturer relationships that revolve around new vehicles.
This week at the NAIAS in Detroit, Ford showed not only product, but also introduced a number of programs that will expand those consumer relationships with manufacturers and vehicles. One of them from the Ford Smart Mobility initiative is a new Ford Motor Credit Company leasing pilot program that will enable families and small groups of friends and neighbors to be able to share a new Ford vehicle.
Ford Credit Link – is the pilot program for Ford Credit customers in Austin, Texas – aimed at consumers who don’t need a vehicle full time, but would like access to their own set of wheels. Starting in February, Ford Credit is offering leases on Ford vehicles to self-organized groups of three to six people.
“People already are sharing everything – from books to homes,” said David McClelland, Ford Credit executive vice president, Marketing and Sales. “We’re seeing the potential for a shift from a single consumer paying for a single vehicle to several people sharing costs and benefits. Ford Credit Link makes Ford vehicles more readily available to people who may not want or need their own vehicle but have mobility requirements that must be met.”
Sharing groups could include households with multiple licensed drivers, neighbors with intermittent needs for a special vehicle such as a pickup truck, or friends, coworkers and college students.
How it works
Using Ford Smart Mobility software, Ford Link Lease groups can reserve drive time, check vehicle status, keep up with maintenance, communicate with each other, view their account, and make payments through a vehicle plug-in device and app.
The pilot program will offer 24-month group leases through three Austin dealerships – Covert Ford, Leif Johnson Ford and Maxwell Ford.
“Austin is a progressive city with a rich demographic mix. It has effective public transportation, and consumers who use various mobility options but may not need a full vehicle lease to meet their transportation needs,” said McClelland. “This combination makes Austin a good place to test Ford Credit Link.”
The pilot supports Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.
Interested persons should reach out to one of the designated Austin Ford dealers for more information.