Most folks who don’t like the idea of owning a car, but miss the occasional advantage of access to a set of wheels, have gravitated to Uber en masse, in recent years.
The ride-sharing app is a well-documented threat to the ubiquity of car ownership due to its convenience and affordability.
Now Ford is looking to strike back at the revolutionary ride-sharing app with a new initiative, which revolves around groups of people sharing a lease.
The new Ford Credit Link scheme (via The Verge) is somewhat reminiscent to a family plan from a mobile phone network or streaming service like Spotify, although, naturally, access will be limited to one member of the group at a time.
It allows self-organised groups of 3 to 6 people take out a lease on a Ford vehicle and divvy up access via a newly created app.
The app allows groups to handle communicate over the vehicle's maintenance, lease payments and, of course, co-ordinate who has access to the car and for how long.
Ford says the scheme is aimed at households with multiple licensed drivers, and neighbours with intermittent needs for a car. The 24-month leases could also be frequented by those who need access to specialist vehicles like a pick-up truck every now and again.
Ford Credit executive David McClelland said: “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.”
The scheme will kick off at the three Austin dealerships in February.
There’s no word yet when it’ll spread beyond the notoriously progressive Texas capital.