Last month, we reported that Ford’s Smart Mobility, LLC subsidiary had led a round of investment in Indian car-rental company Zoomcar with a $15 million commitment. About a month later, Ford has just issued a press release describing the details.
Following its multi-million-dollar investment in Zoomcar, Ford will own approximately 11 percent of the Indian company, with whom the automaker has a relationship stretching back to 2013. Back then, “Ford was [Zoomcar’s] very first OEM partner… and this announcement just cements the fact that the two companies share many of the same core values and vision related to urban mobility,” says Zoomcar Co-Founder and CEO Greg Moran.
What’s In It For Ford?
According to Ford’s release, it’s involvement with Zoomcar is motivated by the direct, immediate access it might grant the automaker to the mobility services space in India. Or, as Ford Asia Pacific Mobility Director John Larsen puts it: “As Ford expands its business to be both an auto and mobility company, we are pursuing a long-term vision to develop services and solutions that make it easier for consumers to move through cities using multiple modes of transportation. Our investment in Zoomcar will help strengthen the company’s role in shaping India’s developing mobility space and provide new transportation options to help make people’s lives better.”
Zoomcar is in the midst of switching from a conventional, inventory-led rental model – wherein the company owns the cars it offers for rent – to one that is more “marketplace-led.” This means that, through the “Zoomcar Associate Program,” private individuals can purchase cars and list them for rent through Zoomcar to profit off of them, instantly expanding the rental company’s fleet and reach, while reducing Zoomcar’s overhead costs.
Today, Zoomcar has a fleet of around 2,000 cars, and operates in 7 cities across India. By 2018, the company anticipates having a fleet of more than 25,000 cars running around 25 or more cities, thanks largely to this new model, fueled in part by Ford Smart Mobility.