Ford Motor Company, yesterday anounced FORD2GO, the first automotive manufacturer-backed, nationwide (in Germany) car sharing program in Europe to incorporate dealerships. FORD2GO was formed following a partnership among Ford of Germany, the German Ford dealers association FHD GmbH, and DB Rent GmbH - the company behind Flinkster car sharing.
The program involves participating Ford dealers across Germany offering cars and service to customers in their town, allowing easy access to shared cars and offering the chance for potential customers to experience Ford vehicles. DB Rent has developed a Web-based booking system along with iOS and Android smartphone apps for private and commercial customers participating in the car sharing program.
Ford said that FORD2GO will be rolled out from the second quarter of 2013, with more than 500 cars expected to be made available from 50 dealerships by the end of the year. DB Rent will deliver the web-based booking system and the app will be compatible with both iOS and Android mobile devices, and available for use by private and commercial customers.
Ford’s German trade network includes 527 Ford dealers, 257 affiliated branches and 1083 Ford authorized repair shops, any of which would be able to take part in the program.
No plans yet for the UK market - but depends on market reaction in Germany
Asked by Transport KTN whether Ford had any plans to launch the service in the UK, Volker Eis, Manager, Sustainability Communications for the company, said it was too early to say.
"The simple answer is we will look to see how customers react in the German market then we'll see if there is potential in other markets", he said.
"We will establish in Germany, see how it develops, and get some experience first".
Bill Ford keynote at Mobile World Congress called for new business models for improved personal mobility
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. 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.
Across Europe Ford says drivers increasingly see car sharing programs as a viable option
More than half of Europeans would consider car sharing, either through a formal program or through private arrangements, a Ford Motor Company-sponsored poll has revealed.
According to Ford, 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. The company revealed the survey findings as Ford of Germany this week launched FORD2GO.
The Futures Company, a 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. 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. The survey was carried out between July and August 2012 with 6,028 people questioned in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK.