Are Legal Concerns To Blame for the Lack of Ford Credit Link Customers?

June 23, 2016Articles Are We There Yet? - Transportation Law Blog

Devotees of “Are We There Yet?” will recall that I profiled Ford’s New Shared Lease Program back in February, highlighting that the legal issues were tightly intertwined with the potential impracticalities. Ford launched its Credit Link program in March, expecting that customers at three dealerships in millenial-laden Austin, Texas would jump at the opportunity to spread the cost of a vehicle across the wallets of up to five of their friends. As it turns out, Ford has gotten zero customers for the program since it rolled out.

Ford never publicly put a number on how many customers it expected to attract in the first three months of Credit Link, but it surely had to be more than none. Ford seemed to attribute the difficulties to lack of customer awareness in a recent Automotive News article about the program, but also noted that it had a good flow of traffic on the Credit Link website. While awareness for a radically new car leasing/sharing program certainly may be an issue, it may just as well have to do with the legal ramifications and practical problems inherent in getting a group of people to agree on anything as big as a car lease and then binding themselves together by contract. One of the Austin-area dealership employees interviewed intimated as much, noting that “getting six people to agree on something has been very difficult.” Ford may have to loosen the reigns on some of the program’s joint and several restrictions that bind the car-sharing parties to deal with the lease individually even if one of their cohort decides to leave them holding the bag.

Or maybe it is because, as Ford informed the folks at Jalopnik, Credit Link does not include the new GT350R. There goes my idea for a group lease on a track car….