Ford of Canada and Zipcar Inc. announced April 2 the launch of a national partnership designed to accelerate the use of Zipcar across Canada and introduce a new generation of drivers to Ford vehicles. The strategic alliance is an expansion of the program that Zipcar and Ford launched in the United States in August 2011, and establishes Ford as Zipcar's largest university vehicle partner, reaching students at 11 Canadian campuses in Toronto and Vancouver.
The program with Zipcar and Ford of Canada will help introduce a new generation of drivers to Ford vehicles with the Focus and Escape now part of Zipcar's existing fleet.
"With this program, today's student drivers can experience our latest fuel-efficient vehicles, while helping them reduce their cost of living and address congestion and parking demands on campus," said Graeme Whickman, VP Marketing, Ford of Canada. "Together with Zipcar, we're enabling the next generation of drivers to experience the next generation of cars and transportation, and we're looking forward to making Ford a staple of their university experience."
Thanks to Ford, Zipcar will offer $10 off the $35 annual membership fee for the first 5,000 new university members who sign up for Zipcar, plus $1 off the hourly rate for the first 50,000 hours of use on any of the new Ford vehicles at select universities.
The new generation of Ford vehicles, especially the all-new Ford Focus, is a good match for Zipcar's environmentally minded student members who demand high fuel efficiency and value performance and style balanced with reliability and utility. The new Focus delivers 4.8L/100km (59 mpg) on the highway plus new technologies such as Ford SYNC.
"With reduced membership fees and hourly rates sponsored by Ford of Canada, students can now save even more money on sustainable transportation, without sacrificing the freedom and fun of having a car on campus," said Scott Griffith, Zipcar chairman and CEO. "We're targeting a generation that only knows how to buy music by the song so paying for a car by the hour is natural for them. This alliance offers students the best of both worlds — a great set of wheels from Ford, available on demand, just when you want them through Zipcar."
New Ford vehicles started arriving on campuses this month with most of the vehicles located within a kilometer off of university grounds. Ford vehicles will make up 60% of Zipcar's university fleet in North America by September 2012.
Zipcar provides all-inclusive rates that cover parking, gas, insurance, up to 200 kilometers of driving, maintenance and roadside assistance. Zipcar has established partnerships with more than 250 universities throughout North America, including the University of Toronto, York University and the University of British Columbia in Canada.
While Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of vehicles to its members, final vehicle selections for its fleet are heavily scrutinized. Members weigh in on brand preferences through annual surveys, and Zipcar reviews total cost of ownership for each new model. Leading technology and fuel economy in the Ford Focus and Escape were persuasive factors in selecting Ford for this collaboration.
Sales of vehicles to commercial fleets increased 2.1% in May, while sales to government fleets were flat, and sales into daily rental increased 29.8%.