Ford of Germany's Ford2Go car-sharing service

With more than a half-million words in the English language and 10 digits to choose from, Ford had ample opportunity to not name its new European carsharing service pretty much the same as a competing service operated by Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler. Alas, opportunity squandered.

Sometime before June, Ford of Europe will debut its Ford2go car-sharing service in Germany. Through Ford2go, more than 500 vehicles, including models like the Ka compact and Transit Custom Van, will be made available to subscribers throughout the country. Ford will work with DB Rent, which operates Germany's Flinkster car-sharing service, on Ford2go.

The automaker cited a poll of more than 6,000 Europeans taken last summer that said about 56 percent of the driving public would consider car sharing as a way to cut transportation costs.

Maybe they were thinking of Car2go. That service, which offers Smart ForTwo vehicles available for short-term carsharing, was started by Daimler in Ulm, Germany in 2008 and now has 18 locations worldwide, including Berlin, Dusseldorf and Hamburg. In fact, Car2Go debuted in Berlin last April with 1,000 cars, the company's largest fleet.

Ford made its first notable impact in the car-sharing world when US car-sharing leader Zipcar said in 2011 that it would buy 1,000 Fords, including Focus and Escape models, for service at more than 250 US college campuses. Check out the Ford2go press release below.
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Ford of Germany Announces New FORD2GO Car Sharing Service; Company Partners with Ford Dealers and DB Rent
  • Ford of Germany has signed a co-operation agreement with the German Ford dealers association FHD GmbH, and DB Rent – the company behind Flinkster car sharing – for a new car sharing platform
  • FORD2GO will be the first automotive manufacturer-backed, nationwide car-sharing scheme incorporating dealerships
  • 56 per cent of Europeans say they would consider car-sharing, according to a Ford-sponsored survey of 6,000 people*
COLOGNE, Germany, March 5, 2013 – Ford of Germany this week announced a new car-sharing service called FORD2GO, a partnership between Ford dealers and DB Rent that could eventually provide car-sharing access in all major cities and towns in the country.

The first automotive manufacturer-backed, nationwide car sharing scheme to incorporate dealerships, FORD2GO was formed following a partnership between Ford of Germany, the German Ford dealers association FHD GmbH, and DB Rent GmbH – the company behind Flinkster car sharing.

The system will enable customers who have registered at a participating Ford dealership to both locate an available car and make a reservation over the Internet – via PC or by using an app on their mobile device.

"For some of our customers car-sharing is a very attractive option," said Bernhard Mattes, chairman of Ford of Germany and vice president Ford Customer Service Division, Ford of Europe. "As a company we are committed to a collaborative and integrated approach to future mobility and the FORD2GO service is another significant step in exploring exactly how that future could look."

FORD2GO will be rolled out from the second quarter of 2013, with more than 500 Ford vehicles ranging from the Ka compact city car to the new Transit Custom van 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 authorised repair shops, any of which would be able to take part in the scheme.

A Ford-sponsored poll last year showed more than half of Europeans would consider car-sharing, either through a formal scheme or through private arrangement. Ford commissioned the survey conducted by "The Futures Company", a leading consultancy, to better understand the opinions and attitudes of Europeans across a range of mobility issues.

Of the 56 per cent surveyed who said they would consider car-sharing, 27 per cent would be most attracted by reduced travel costs, 26 per cent by convenience of location and operating hours, 23 per cent by a straightforward booking system and 22 per cent by a reduced impact on the environment.

Ford is also considering the potential to expand the FORD2GO car sharing service to further European markets.

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* Survey carried out by The Futures Company, between July and August 2012. 6,028 people were questioned across six European countries; Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and U.K.

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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 171,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

Ford Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 69,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (15 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and nine unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.