For this reason Ford is planning to partner with Zipcar in what will be one of the most unusual partnerships to this day. Within the partnership, Ford will be supplying vehicles to various Zipcar locations throughout the US, including on college and university campuses.
The partnership is set to last for at least two years and will give Zipcar access to up to 1,000 Escape sport utility vehicles and Ford Focus sedans. This service caters to students who are not ready to own their own car because of their inability to make monthly payments and upkeep on a vehicle of their own. With Zipcar, they will simply rent a car when necessary.
Along with the cars that Ford will be providing to Zipcar, there is an offer going which will give the first 100,000 students who sign up for the Zipcar rental program, a $10 discount on the $30 annual payments towards membership.
Ford is also prepared to subsidize one dollar of the hourly rate on each of its vehicles for the first one million hours that any of its vehicles are used. Zipcar rates are normally around 8 to 9 dollars an hour.
This program is meant to start on Thursday and is expected to be a big step for Zipcar in the expansion of its business. The company has become very popular in New York, San Francisco, Boston and Washington in recent years and has been expanding slowly to other markets in Providence and Sacramento, as well as expanding business through college and university campuses.
With Ford to help it along, Zipcar will be expanding much more rapidly within the next two years, and its presence on the campuses is sure to boost its name in the student market, which in turn will promote the American automobile company’s vehicles.
Before the partnership with Ford, the majority of Zipcars vehicles were from foreign auto manufacturers like Honda, Mini Cooper and Toyota. At the moment Zip car has over 600,000 members throughout the US, UK and Canada.
The idea for the Ford-Zipcar partnership was raised at a forum for transportation when the two company executives met. The Ford executive stated that a partnership of this nature was something Ford had been interested in for a while as it would help to solve the ever increasing problem of congested city areas, a direct result of too many cars being added to the market.
The Ford executive is an environmentalist and was interested in helping to reduce fuel consumption throughout the cities where too many people owned a vehicle for private use. The opportunity on the market these days for reaching the younger generation with Ford products is huge, as college students would normally never try a vehicle like Ford as their first car.