Ford launches FORD2GO car sharing program with its German dealer network; Ford poll shows 56% of Europeans would consider car sharing
Ford of Germany has signed a cooperation agreement with the German Ford dealers association FHD GmbH and DB Rent GmbH—the company behind Flinkster car sharing—for a new car sharing platform. FORD2GO will be the first automotive manufacturer-backed, nationwide car sharing program incorporating dealerships.
The program calls for participating Ford dealers across Germany to offer cars and sharing services to customers in their town, allowing easy access to shared cars and offering the chance for potential customers to experience Ford vehicles. Daimler, with its car2go effort, was an early OEM entrant into car-sharing. (Earlier post.) BMW is also exploring car-sharing services (earlier post), as is GM (earlier post) and Toyota (earlier post), but none have directly involved their dealer network at this point as Ford is.
Car sharing was one of the various elements highlighted by Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford during a keynote address on the future of mobility at the February 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. (Earlier post.)
As outlined in the company’s Blueprint for Mobility, dealing with growing congestion and environmental concerns will require the development of a true network of mobility solutions, with personal vehicle ownership complemented by greater use of connected and efficient shared services, and completely new business models contributing to improved personal mobility.
More than half (56%) of Europeans would consider car sharing, either through a formal program or through private arrangements, a Ford Motor Company-sponsored poll of more than 6,000 people shows. Of the 56% surveyed who said they would consider car sharing, 27% would be most attracted by reduced travel costs; 26% by convenience of location and operating hours; 23% by a straightforward booking system; and 22% by a reduced impact on the environment.
Drivers increasingly see car sharing programs as a viable option, particularly in dense urban areas where parking can be problematic, and public transit can meet many but not all transportation needs. Ready and affordable access to a pool of available vehicles can provide on-demand transportation flexibility.
Ford understands that for some of our customers—as this survey shows—car sharing is an attractive option. As a company, we are committed to a collaborative and integrated approach to future mobility, and the FORD2GO service is another significant step in exploring exactly how that future could look.—Bernhard Mattes, chairman of Ford of Germany and vice president, Ford Customer Service Division, Ford of Europe
The Futures Company, a leading consulting firm, conducted the survey to better understand the opinions and attitudes of Europeans across a range of mobility issues—from car sharing to green driving to the future of the internal combustion engine.
DB Rent has developed a Web-based booking system along with iOS and Android smartphone apps for private and commercial customers participating in the Ford car sharing program.
FORD2GO will be rolled out throughout the coming year. Ford’s German trade network includes 527 Ford dealers, 257 affiliated branches and 1,083 Ford-authorized repair shops—any and all of which would be able to take part in the program.