Ford has developed a new leasing program that will allow "self-organized groups" of three to six individuals to group-lease Ford vehicles. It's called Ford Credit Link and it will be available at three Austin, Texas Ford dealers beginning in February.
The sharing economy has thus far focused on apps like Uber and Lyft, which allow drivers to use their cars as taxis, or ZipCar-type like services like Ford GoDrive or GM's Let's Drive NYC where customers access to a fleet of vehicles.
Ford Credit Link is different. It's sort of analogous to a family plan from a cellular carrier, especially that weird Framily Plan from Sprint. Ford has created an app where lease groups can coordinate vehicle access, handle maintenance, coordinate with other group drivers, and make payments. Think of it as a sort of private, small-scale ZipCar, albeit with only one vehicle.
No word if lease groups will be able to add or drop members in the middle of the two-year leases, something that might be important to households of unrelated roommates who might need to move away for whatever reason.
Still, it's an outside the box idea that has some potential, especially in a progressive, public-transit rich area like Austin. This one could be interesting. It's also not the only new car-sharing initiative from Ford. The company is also integrating the FlightCar personal rental service into the new FordPass customer service app.
In the meantime, anyone want to go in on a Ford GT lease?