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Car and Driver: Anyone Up for a Six-Way . . . Lease? Ford Announces New Lease-Sharing Program

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2015 Ford F-150 XLT 2.7L EcoBoost 4x4

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Ford is getting into groups—group leases, that is. Anticipating “the potential for a shift from a single consumer paying for a single vehicle to several people sharing costs and benefits,” Ford announced a new pilot lease program “aimed at consumers who don’t need a vehicle full-time, but would like access to their own set of wheels.”

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The 24-month Ford Credit lease program will be offered through three Ford dealerships in Austin, Texas, for groups of three to six individuals. Ford envisions such groups as including friends, coworkers, college students, or any “self-organized” group of buyers that may need a vehicle occasionally, if not every day. Ford also sees this program working in urban areas where residents walk or use public transportation most of the time, but occasionally need a car or truck for longer trips or various chores.

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The way Ford has designed the program, lessees can reserve drive time, monitor the vehicle’s maintenance, make payments, and communicate with others on the account via a vehicle plug-in device and/or an app. Nothing was mentioned about negotiating who gets the vehicle when two group members need the car at the same time—say, when two roommates have dates on the same night, or when all six SigEp members who leased an F-150 need to move out of the frat house on graduation day.

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The way we see it, pickups and vans in particular could be ripe for this kind of lease program. Time will tell will see how this program works in practice, and which kinds of vehicles are most commonly leased this way. If it takes off, expect Ford (and other manufacturers) to roll out similar programs in other markets in short order.

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