Fewer cars in cities says Ford chief 0

The president of Ford Europe, Jim Farley, believes that cities should reduce the amount of cars that are on their streets – freeing up alternative forms of transport.

In a recent interview, Farley said that carmakers cannot be “selfish” when seeking solutions to the overcrowded urban areas of the world’s major cities.

“We must work on how to take cars out of the system when there is an alternative, more sustainable solution,

“Cities are facing huge challenges — congestion, emissions and air quality to name a few. The answer to these challenges lies in collaboration with cities and city leaders.”

A wide swath of the industry’s major players are looking at new business models, in urban areas especially, where car owning is not always convenient.

VW has announced feasibility studies into an on-demand minibus service via its new Moia brand. General Motors meanwhile has launched a car-sharing scheme called Maven and pumped $500 million into Lyft, the taxi-booking service.

BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler have all launched car sharing schemes for inner-city areas, while Nissan is trialling a ownership sharing project in Paris that uses social media to match co-owners of a Nissan Micra car.

Ford, which has experimented with car-sharing programmes in the UK and Germany, last year bought Chariot, the ride sharing company and plans to expand the minibus service outside of the US later this year. Mr Farley will tell the FT conference that each Chariot vehicle leads to 11 fewer cars on the street in the US, and as many as 25 in China. Urban congestion is an increasingly relevant issue, with two-thirds of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050.

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