By on January 11, 2016

Ford Credit Link

A pilot initiative will be launched next month in Austin, Texas, where small groups can join forces and lease a new Ford together. Only available at three select dealers for now, the 24-month lease will likely operate much like Zipcar or Car2Go, but on a much smaller, private scale.

A new app will allow between three and six close friends to share payment responsibilities, as well as locate and schedule the use of the car.

Austin was chosen due to the the diverse demographics (#Millenial #Hipster), and the good public transport options available to those waiting for their deadbeat roommate to return the Focus.

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46 Comments on “NAIAS 2016: With Ford Credit Link, the Sharing Economy Comes to Leasing...”

  • avatar

    So when my hipster loser roommate misses his payment, my name is on it too and then creditors come after me while smashing my credit rating?

    The insurance companies have to buy into this too. And a car with six main drivers is going to cost a lot. This only works if you presumably live in close proximity, all need the same sort of car space, get along with these people, have opposite work schedules (unless you’re each working part time, which is possible) and none of them are going to flake or trash the car.

    And that’s a lotta assuming. I’m already having flashbacks to high school group projects gone awry.

    Basically you should work harder and get your own car, to avoid this sharing nonsense. Sharing is thoroughly un-American.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, I don’t get it either. The only “innovation” is letting more than 2 people co-sign on a lease, but why do I want to be the sucker covering multiple people’s missed payments?

      Something like Zipcar I understand. This? No.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not un-American per se…it’s just silly. Rich folks share things all the time. Difference is, they’re rich, so their partners don’t end up totally boned if one can’t pay anymore.

  • avatar

    How is this better than zipcar?

  • avatar

    I wouldn’t dismiss it outright if it worked like fractional ownership of a jet or even a timeshare–essentially Zipcar but with guaranteed availability based on the size of your share. But that would make too much sense. This is simply a 3-6 way co-signing of a lease with fully shared liability, right? No thanks.

  • avatar

    I’m in the process of launching a company that will rent cars for $5 USD per hour, with a 2 hour minimum charge.

    You see, the economy is so great that everyone is “gigging it,” and they are free-range humans, free to explore creativity and take on only the finest work that interests them, free from the monotony, secure pay & actual benefits such full time jobs used to provide.

    Great excerpts:

    “The obvious candidates for word-of-the-year are the labels of the year’s big stories — new words like “microaggression” or resurgent ones like “refugees.” But sometimes a big theme is captured in more subtle ways. So for my word of the year, I offer you the revival of “gig” as the name for a new economic order. It’s the last chapter in the life of a little word that has tracked the rise and fall of the great American job.”

    “It has been called the on-demand economy, the 1099 economy, the peer-to-peer economy, and freelance nation, among other things. But over the past year, investors, the business media and politicians seem to have settled on “the gig economy.” It strikes just the right jaunty, carefree note. The Financial Times explains that in the future, work will be less secure, but lots more exciting. We can make our own schedule and hours, pick the projects that interest us, work from anywhere and try our hands at different trades.”

    “The buzzwords fly thick and fast here — we’ll be “solopreneurs” and “free range humans” with “portfolio careers.” As the head of a freelancers’ organization puts it, we’re no longer just lawyers, or photographers, or writers. Instead, we’re part-time lawyers-cum-amateur photographers who write on the side.”

    “That’s the image that phrases like “the gig economy” and “freelance nation” bring to mind, an economy populated by professionals and creatives, typically single millennials — people who may be willing to trade some security for the opportunity to take off a month or two off to visit Patagonia. But that language doesn’t get at most of the people who are cut loose in the new economy and who aren’t reveling in the independence it gives them — the ill-paid temps and contingent workers that some have called the “precariat.”

    “If you have a long cultural memory, it’s a bit jarring to hear those paeans to gig life coming from the venture capitalists and consultants who are hyping the new economic order. It’s as if the shade of Kerouac were still haunting the place that’s now called Silicon Valley, where he had his gig as a brakeman 65 years ago.”

    “But their logic sounds impeccable. If “gig” suggests the independence you get when you’re not tied down to a steady lifetime job, then just think of the freedom we’ll all enjoy when the traditional job is consigned to the scrap heap of history, and the economy is just gigs all the way down. But the idea of a gig is only alluring if you know you can hit the road when it gets joyless. Otherwise it’s just an old word for a job you need that you can’t count on having tomorrow.”

    • 0 avatar

      Does this mean that we will all have the job security, health care, and retirement plans of jazz musicians? Wow, I’m really looking forward to that.

      You have to wonder, how long will Americans allow our standard of living to be given away to foreigners, for the sole purpose of further enriching a class of people whose descendants will never have to work for a living?

    • 0 avatar

      Is Melody Lee a freerange human?

      • 0 avatar

        Free range human fried up is so good.

      • 0 avatar

        Melody CT-Millennial-Speak Lee has a full time job, apparently at Cadillac Bespoke Motor Coachwerks Company, PLLC, but speaks for and acts upon the coveted free range Millennials who are “gig” workers.

        Because Freedom.

        • 0 avatar

          A fun read for you, DW…

          • 0 avatar

            That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!

            “”My mood continues to improve,” the brand chief said of the progress.”

            Well thank the Good Dude our friend JdN is in good spirits.

            “”Moving to New York we are able to attract fantastic talent from other automakers,” de Nysschen said. Cadillac is also attracting talent from non-automotive luxury brands, injecting new perspectives. There are roughly about 150 workers in the New York office with the ultimate goal of 300 next year.

            “Many are younger than I expected,” he said of the new employees. Three quarters have masters degrees or higher and they are very ambitious, he said. “All believe they can do better than their boss.””

            My my. The brand will be bankrupt by what, 2025? 2020?

            “There are plans to add an entry-level car below the ATS as well as an over-the-top luxury flagship that may not make money but will showcase GM design, technology and engineering. ”

            Why would we want to make money? Its all about the BRAND.

            “”There has never been as ambitious a strategy for Cadillac,” de Nysschen said. “To do all of them simultaneously is really something.””

            I really respect the man for admitting the obvious fact there never was a strategy.

            “In the U.S. the ATS small sedan ended the year with a 10% drop in sales and the larger CTS was down 37%. But total U.S. Cadillac sales increased 3% for the year to 175,267 in a year where sales were expected to be flat. It is a far cry from sales of 350,000 in 1978.”

            Down 37%? 10% drop? We’re not in this to make money!

            “Global share is in the 4% range. “When we hit 10% about 2025, think how profitable we will be,” de Nysschen said.”

            He’s seriously talking about 2025 in Jan 2016?

            But yet:

            “”We have to let them build a reputation in the marketplace,” de Nysschen said. “We can’t devalue them with excessive incentives. We have to let them find their natural level in the marketplace. It could take a generation.””

            A generation is closer to twenty years than nine Johan. Just an FYI.

            “The business model is to continue to sell the same number of vehicles but at higher price-points that recognize vehicles such as the ATS and CTS small sedans are costly to produce.”

            High prices have worked so well thus far, why not raise them some more?

            in closing

            “Cadillac cannot be restored to its former glory if the brand continues to behave as it it is not a premium brand, de Nysschen said.”

            Cadillac: selling sub premium products to sub premium customers?


        • 0 avatar

          Everyone at The Horseless and Classless Carriage Company by Cadillac Ltd of Soho NYC is working a “gig”.

          JdN is just a “gig” worker, so when his set is over someone else will step in.

          • 0 avatar

            Tribute to Bowie & the new, “gig” worker Young Americans:

            You ain’t a pimp and you ain’t a hustler
            A pimp’s got a Cadi and a lady got a Chrysler
            Black’s got respect, and white’s got his soul train
            Mama’s got cramps, and look at your hands ache
            (I heard the news today, oh boy)
            I got a suite and you got defeat
            Ain’t there a man who can say no more?
            And, ain’t there a woman I can
            sock on the jaw?
            And, ain’t there a child I can hold without judging?
            Ain’t there a pen that will write before they die?
            Ain’t you proud that you’ve still got faces?
            Ain’t there one damn song that can make me
            break down and cry?

            All night
            I want the young American
            Young American, young American, I want the young American
            All right
            I want the young American

          • 0 avatar

            We’re ALL working a gig, 28. Some just pay better.

          • 0 avatar

            I have a career, thanks. Adults need careers in order to offer stability to um, families. I realize families are being phased out and all but they used to be a thing in what was it called, oh civilized society. Shoot me the day I’m working contract to contract. Even guys I’ve met who like contract work are typically locked into at least year at a time.

            Maybe I just need two weeks in Patagonia?

            Obviously I’m not jiving to the hipster doofus vibe CT Melodee is snorting in the ladies room.

          • 0 avatar

            I really wish we could call a truce on all the Melody Lee bashing. It doesn’t reflect well.

          • 0 avatar


            Currently I am reading a book about the importance of fathers in their daughters lives. The minimization of a father’s importance in kids lives, via poor choices by men and many other factors, is terrifying.

          • 0 avatar

            I have a career too. It’s actually the third one I’ve had – the other industries I worked in went south, so I had to start over twice.

            And if things go south in the industry I work in, there’s a real good chance I might have to start over again.

            The days when you had a lifetime job are gone. To one extent or another, we all have “gigs.” Some are just more permanent and pay better. Welcome to 2016.

          • 0 avatar

            I can’t say enough how right bball is. Dads are key.

          • 0 avatar

            I wish Miss Melody Lee, Brand Director of Cadillac, acted like a professional. I’m just taking a stab, but I’m guessing she has never had to previously. Truth is this woman comes from a juiced in family OR somehow on her own she was able to get in with the ruling crowd as ordinary 26yos do not work with the IOC in any capacity (I’m leaning more toward bloodline though). Everyone is well connected in things like IOC, FIFA, etc. The other thing I find cute is Miss Lee is evidently born of Taiwanese parents. Most Taiwanese speak Mandarin but about 70% also speak Taiwanese Hokkien which is the language mostly spoken prior to the 1949 mainlander exodus to Taiwan. She probably grew up speaking both and I imagine is descended from Han Chinese. Why does this matter? Well, why would IOC choose a Taiwanese (whom MC China folks don’t like) to work in PRC China’s Beijing games when there are how many other qualified candidates who fit the bill? There are reasons, I’m sure.


            Here is the article I just read on here if you can’t see if behind a paywall:

            Age: 33 (as of 2014)
            Title: Director of brand and reputation strategy, Cadillac
            Big break: Advising the International Olympic Committee before the 2008 Summer Games

            In fall of 2012, Melody Lee got a call from Bob Ferguson, who was then General Motors’ head lobbyist. Ferguson had just been offered the chance to become the global head of Cadillac and wanted Lee, a trusted former colleague, to join him.

            “Bob started the conversation by asking me, ‘Would you ever buy a Cadillac?\'” says Lee, who was driving an Audi A4 at the time. “When I told him that the brand wouldn’t make my top five, he said, ‘I need your help to change that.\'”

            Since then, Lee, a Texas native and daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, has been helping Cadillac recast its image among the many luxury buyers who have the same perception of the brand that she once did.

            Lee has used strategic partnerships and media plays to put Cadillac in “unexpected places” that those influencers inhabit, beyond the automotive buff books that have been singing the praises of Cadillac’s vehicles for years now.

            For example, Architectural Digest recently published a piece about Cadillac’s ELR plug-in hybrid coupe. The Wall Street Journal recently ran a full-page story featuring the fashion choices of several Cadillac designers and other employees.

            Cadillac also partnered with brands that enjoy the sort of cachet with influential buyers that Cadillac covets. Last year, it displayed a redesigned 2015 Escalade SUV in one of Saks Fifth Avenue’s iconic holiday windows at its flagship store in New York.

            “At a time when perhaps our brand equity isn’t where we want it to be, why not draft off of the stronger brand strength that some of our partners have?” Lee says.

            Since her arrival, she has fought for a 50 percent boost in Cadillac’s spending on luxury lifestyle media and strategic partnerships.

            Lee has spent much of her career helping large companies hone their messages, often holed up in war rooms in the midst of crises or major merger and acquisition deals.

            She advised the International Olympic Committee ahead of the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, when heat was building on China’s human rights record. She also was part of a team in 2009 that advised Live Nation and TicketMaster Entertainment on their controversial merger.


            Oh and here is the in interview everyone likes to mock:


            “Lee also feels the need for Cadillac’s move from General Motors’ headquarters in Detroit to a new office in New York City. She said the office, located in trendy SoHo, will be used as a recruitment tool as much as anything else.””

            She wants to hang out in the NYC scene on GM’s dime.

            “She wants great minds to work for her, and moving to New York will help attract them.”

            She and I are the same age. I’m positioning my career to lead a small team of people in the near future, say four or less. I have twelve years in IT in varying roles and I recognize I don’t know sh*t about sh*t in the grand scheme. She has what sounds like three in a senior level position. Good luck sweetie and also to whomever wants to work “for her”.

            ““I don’t buy products, I buy brands,””

            Spoken like a true valley girl.

            I hope she is snorting cocaine because she’s gonna need it. Ask GWB, cocaine and Daddy can get you a presidency.

            “To one extent or another, we all have “gigs.” Some are just more permanent and pay better. Welcome to 2016.”

            Fake careers, fake economy, fake freedom, fake leaders, and a fake future. Its all finally coming together!


            What’s the book?

    • 0 avatar

      I realize Nunberg is merely a symptom of a bigger problem rather than being the problem himself, but it would make me feel so much better if we could just guillotine him for oh I dunno how about thoughtcrimes?

      Can we, oh pretty please?

      • 0 avatar
        Car Ramrod


        Off topic, but what is the name of that book?

        • 0 avatar

          Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

          • 0 avatar


          • 0 avatar

            I trust your judgment & am sure that that book contains some pearls of wisdom, bball, but it is allegory, yes?

            On such a complex issue, allegories always seem to fall apart at the seams, historically speaking, for me.

            Similarly, this is why I much prefer Emerson vs Poe, and the stained glass windows of the cathedrals built in Europe when only the priests, politicians & noble could read & write hold no appeal to me.

          • 0 avatar

            Ahh the Church. Suppressing education and covering up illegal acts. The OG political power!

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t think it’s an allegory. It’s not Aslan being Jesus or anything (I’m not done yet, so maybe it will get more Jesusy). It’s just a book written by a medical doctor who does have some opinions on faith and so forth. If I only read things I 100% agreed with, I wouldn’t read much at all.

            Sure, some of the advice and opinions from the author will be based in Christianity, but it doesn’t make all of them wrong. I’m also fully aware that I can’t keep my daughter in the house until she’s 25. Instilling good values in her and being a part of her life are much more important.

            For alternative titles, I suggest Fatherneed and Do Fathers Matter?

        • 0 avatar
          Car Ramrod


  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Of course, you have to trust your fellow lessees not to ding up the car, especially since it *is* a lease.

  • avatar

    This is about the worst idea in car ownership that I’ve ever heard. Ford is blowing smoke and sunshine you-know-where. Do you think Ford will intercede when the car comes back late, dented and with an empty tank? At least with Zip car there is some other enforcement entity which is responsible for being sure its back on time and gassed up…. if not face the wrath of ZIP.
    Think of the cars that you own with your wife and share with your own kids. How well is that working out for you??
    Now Ford brings you fractional ownership. 1/6 of the convenience with 5/6 of the aggravation and cost. I’d rather have a beater in my driveway.

    • 0 avatar

      Wherever there are naive people who can be suckered, there will be marketeers who set out to do it.

      There are certain rules our parents/grandparents passed down to us, that still apply, no matter what kind of “branding”, “marketing”, and “apps” are trotted out to sucker the suckers. For example:

      – don’t commingle your finances until you are married.
      – don’t make babies unless you know you can support them
      – don’t make yourself financially responsible for others’ behavior (such as damaging an expensive piece of capital equipment) unless they are your children or spouse (and once the kids are adults, or if the spouse proves unreliable, not even then).

      Just like the people who issue no-down-payment, no-income-verification mortgages for 60% of gross income, you can rest assured that Ford Credit will not lose money on this boondoggle. That is why, whenever someone brings you a large wooden horse as a peace offering, and urges you to open wide the gates, you had better check for the trapdoor and hidden warriors.

  • avatar

    Co-signing with one person is bad enough (unless your spouse is the co-signer); with this, you have any number of people who can deadbeat out and screw up your finances. Plus, if one person can’t pay, and the rest can’t pick up the slack, then guess what? NONE of them have a car anymore. Back to riding the bus for all of you!

    This sounds like a an exceptional way to grenade your credit. But screwy financing schemes are nothing new in the car biz.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    “A new app will allow between three and six close friends to share payment responsibilities, as well as locate and schedule the use of the car.”

    By the time the lease is over they won’t be close friends any longer.

  • avatar

    Unlike a Zipcar you can park this at your place. That’s pretty big.

    It’s certainly interesting.

  • avatar

    This seems like an incredibly horrible idea, definitely not for me. You can get some pretty dirt cheap leases out there if you are that bad off, if you can’t afford $150 or so a month for a car you probably shouldn’t own a car.

  • avatar

    I would imagine it is not any better than zipcar with a long term contract (and a lower cost).
    Insurance will end up being non owner insurance or rolled into the lease, fractionally, and no fault.
    Cost has to be cheaper than zipcar, by a lot, or else why would people choose it over zipcar?

    Most importantly, someone has to clean that thing once in a while and with many co-leaser, who is going to take care of that?

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