Many people have gravitated to Uber because of the cost and convenience benefits of the uber-popular ride-sharing app. But such popularity has threatened the auto manufacturing industry since car ownership will likely further decrease, which the industry does not need now especially after the slump in sales after the 2008 global financial crisis.
Ford Motor Company, among the world’s largest auto manufacturers based in Dearborn, Michigan, has taken matters into its own hands by releasing its own version of the ride-sharing app. By doing so, Ford will strike back at Uber and, hopefully, become dominant in an emerging industry.
According to Ford, the new Ford Credit Link scheme will be implemented via The Verge. The scheme allows self-organized groups of 3-6 people to lease a Ford vehicle and divide access to it via the app. The ride-sharing service is reminiscent of a family plan for a streaming service or a mobile phone plan but with a difference – access to the leased car will be limited to one member at a time.
The Ford Link app will also allow the members to manage the car leasing contract. These include communicating about the leased car’s maintenance, lease payments, and access including destination and duration.
Ford executives, furthermore, announced that the ride-sharing app targets families with multiple licensed drivers as well as groups of friends (i.e., neighbors) with intermittent car needs. Groups can also access the 2-year leases for their needs in specialist vehicles, such as a pick-up truck.
The Ford Credit Link will make the company’s vehicles more accessible and available to groups who have mobility requirements but who want to skip on car ownership or who cannot own their own cars yet.
So far, the scheme will apply to Austin, Texas in February. Nationwide application may come soon.