Back in January, we reported on Ford’s plan to launch a car lease-sharing program in Texas where buyers could “split” car ownership between as many as six people. We wondered if there were going to be any takers, especially since Lyft and Uber later became scarce in that part of the country.
None. There were none takers, as it turns out.
Ford launched the program, called Ford Credit Link, in March at three Austin dealerships: Leif Johnson Ford, Maxwell Ford, and Covert Ford. That was three months ago. Since then, nobody has signed up.
Ford believes that this is due to a lack of awareness, despite “a good flow of traffic to the website,” a Ford Credit spokeswoman told Automotive News. The carmaker plans to implement some more aggressive marketing schemes this summer, to make sure people will “start to know how it works.” And after that, apparently, is when Ford plans to make the deal.
But will it, though? Ford launched this program in Austin. Clearly, it is targeting young professionals and college students. So say you’re going in on a car with a group of friends. Your group is already notoriously bad at coordinating things. Now, you all have to agree on a car, agree on who gets to use it and when. You all have to be financially able to go in on such an endeavor.
Not all Ford vehicles were eligible for the program either. After receiving a ton of legitimate reader interest following a joke in the news post, our own Jalopnik editor Patrick George inquired about lease-sharing a GT350R with some fellow Austin gearheads. Ford told him it was a no-go.
And on top of that, Maxwell Ford General Manager Bill Scott mused to Automotive News, “Maybe there would be more interest in a metro city, but especially in Texas, getting three to six people to agree to something has been very difficult.”
Ford, take note. Maybe it’s not you. Maybe it’s Texas.