The rapid growth in the number of users is attracting more and more car manufacturers in germany to the car-sharing business. Following in the footsteps of mercedes, bmw and vw, carmaker ford is now entering the sector and plans to be the first company in the industry to set up a nationwide network in germany. A cooperation agreement has been signed with deutsche bahn and ford dealers for a new platform called ford2go, the company announced in koln on friday, confirming a corresponding report by the newspaper the world. Ford2go to be launched in the second quarter of 2013 and gradually expanded.
Ford is taking a further step toward sustainable mobility, explained the head of ford’s plants, bernhard mattes. "We also see high growth potential for private and commercial customers". The koln-based carmaker’s retail partners are involved in the concept. They are to take care of customer service and provide the vehicles. In addition, with the launch of ford2go, owners of a customer card will in future have access not only to the vehicles of the dealers, but also to the cars of flinkster of deutsche bahn. The cooperation with ford has led to a steady increase in flinkster offers, explained rolf lubke, chairman of the management board of db rent gmbh, a subsidiary of deutsche bahn. The company is to develop an internet-based booking system and smartphone applications for the new car-sharing program.
Just on tuesday, the german car-sharing association presented its results for the past year. According to the report, just under half a million drivers used the car-sharing services. It had been the roughest increase with user numbers and with the vehicle offers. Many drivers had given up their cars and made use of the various car-sharing services on offer. In an international comparison, germany takes second place. According to the association, there are now numerous regional and local car-sharing providers on the market – and the trend is rising. The best-known providers include stadtmobil, cambio, stattauto munchen, but also the car-sharing brands of the major manufacturers car2go (mercedes), drivenow (bmw) and quicar (vw).