BMW and Ford have both launched a form of car sharing the US, as companies look to explore expanded mobility solutions to better match today’s consumers.
BMW Group has launched a carsharing service in Seattle named "ReachNow". This will be based on its European ‘DriveNow’ programme which offers car sharing facilities in several European cities.
The initial fleet for ReachNow will include 370 BMW and Mini vehicles, with 20% of these being BMWi3 electric vehicles.
Customers may also rent out their own car via ReachNow if they wish, to reduce the cost of owning a car.
Although ReachNow is launching initially in Seattle, the manufacturer said it planned to expand these services to other cities in the future.
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Ford has launched the pilot for its group leasing program, Ford Credit Link, in Austin, Texas, from three dealers.
The programme was originally revealed in January, and allows small groups to lease a Ford vehicle if such a model suits them.
The leased vehicle will have a plug-in device installed, and using a mobile app, members of the leasing group are able to reserve drive time, check vehicle status, communicate with each other, view the account and make payments.
"We are seeing how financial products and services can help unlock more potential in the sharing economy," said David McClelland, Ford Credit executive vice president of marketing and sales. "This is an opportunity for people to share the costs and benefits of having a vehicle to support their mobility."
Manufacturer Inifiniti has agreed a one year partnership with LeasePlan following the launch of its Q30 Premium Active Compact and Leaseplan’s car sharing service, SwopCar.
The service will be made available to clients in 9 European countries, starting with the UK, The Netherlands, France and Switzerland.
Under the partnership, employees of companies using the SwopCar initiative will be able to book to use the Infiniti Q30 for when the vehicle is needed, at no cost.
As with other on demand car sharing services, Q30s can be reserved via a smart phone app, which also informs them of vehicle availability.
Nick Salkeld, chief commercial officer of LeasePlan Corporation, added: "We are happy to announce that together with Infiniti we will enable employees to make a test-drive with the new Infiniti Q30 by using our new car sharing service SwopCar. By allowing a company’s employees to book and share a Q30 with the SwopCar solution, we will maximise its utilisation, reduce fleet carbon emissions and considerably diminish the need for parking spaces. Achieving these positive outcomes would make this a very successful campaign for us and for Infiniti."