Ford Teams with Zipcar to Broaden College Students’ Automotive Horizons

By Jacob Brown | September 01, 2011
In college, rounding up the young ones sounds like an awful way to recruit naïve freshmen to unwittingly sign up for fraternities and sororities. To Ford, it sounds like a good way to reach out to future customers. Teaming up with the Zipcar urban car rental business, Ford has taken a new strategy in making an impression with Generation Y, signing a two-year contract to supply 650 cars to students around the nation this year and as many as 1000 through the life of the contract. The alliance comes with benefits not just to the two companies, but also to college students, who will reap discounted rates for the Blue Oval vehicles. For the first 100,000 students who sign up for a membership, Zipcar will take $10 off the annual $35 membership fee. For the first million hours of driving in a new Ford vehicle, the company will lop $1 per hour off the rental charge.
Ford estimates that the program could generate up to 2 million hours of new driving in vehicles that primarily include the 2012 Ford Focus and 2012 Ford Escape. Ford CEO Bill Ford says that the alliance with Zipcar moves forward with how the younger generation of car consumers is shifting their perspectives on transportation on college campuses. “This program enables today’s new drivers to experience our latest fuel-efficient vehicles, while helping them reduce their cost of living and help relieve congestion on campus,” Ford said. “We’re looking forward to making Ford a staple of their college experience.”'s Take: Currently, Zipcar rents out more than 30 different models from different manufacturers, reaching exposure with students at more than 250 college campuses across the nation. Whether Ford loses money on this program is wholly irrelevant if it can convince the future money makers of America that it makes cars that they want during seat time in Zipcar-rented vehicles. Source: Ford