Ford Strikes a Deal with Zipcar

Ford Motor Corporation and Zipcar have jointly announced that they will be teaming up to add Ford model cars to the Zipcar lineup. In Bill Vlasic’s write-up in the New York Times (see references) officers for both companies say they are eager to add American made cars to the model types available to Zipcar members, which thus far have been mostly imports.

Zipcar is a service whereby people are able to rent a car by the hour (typically $8 to$9) rather than by the day as is the norm with regular car rentals. The idea is that people who don’t own a car but would like to rent one for a an hour or so to go shopping, take in a movie etc. could do so without having to fork out the cash for a longer time period (or take a bus or hail a cab). The service, offered as member subscriptions, is aimed mostly at people who do not own a car, but want one for short periods of time. Currently, Zipcar operates in just a few cities, New York, Boston, San Francisco and Washington D.C. (though it has been expanding slowly into some smaller markets) but is looking to expand, particularly on college campuses, where the company sees a lot of demand. This is where Ford comes into the picture.

In the announcement, Ford reps said that in addition to providing up to 1000 cars, it will also give the first 10,000 new subscribers $10 off the normal $30 price of Zipcar membership fee. And that’s not all; the company will also be subsidizing $1 on the hourly rate for the first million hours members use.

The beauty of the Zipcar (which currently has around 600,000 members) service is that cars can be rented without all the normal rigmarole normally involved in car rental. Members simply walk up to a site (such as a parking garage) indicate their choice on their cell phone, climb in and drive away. When they’re done, they simply drive the car to the nearest parking facility and walk way. It’s all very simple, neat, inexpensive and easy; perfect for people who need or want to use a car periodically, such as college students.

Ford’s executive chairman, William Clay Ford Jr. says he’s been looking into ways to help solve congestion in cities and believes the Zipcar model is one of the ways to do it. He also says that anything that can cut down on carbon emissions is a good thing and he sees Zipcar as a perfect way to do it.

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *