Ford plans to “unwind” its sponsorship of a bike-sharing service in the San Francisco area, now owned by Lyft, Ford executive VP Marcy Klevorn told Axios.
Why it matters: Ford’s involvement in the deal that saw Motivate’s bikes branded as Ford GoBike was part of a larger effort on the company’s part to transform itself into more than just a carmaker, especially as alternate transportation services have flourished and autonomous vehicles enter the equation.
- In addition to its sponsorship of the Ford GoBike service, Ford has acquired other transportation companies in recent years, including scooter rental startup Spin and private shuttle bus provider Chariot.
- Lyft, meanwhile, is forging ahead with its own brand of scooter and bike rentals as it seeks to go beyond car rides.
Asked to clarify, a Ford spokesperson told Axios that the companies have decided to end the partnership in the next couple of months.
- “The Ford sponsorship was instrumental in growing bike share in the Bay Area, and now we’re excited for the system to have a new look and feel,” Lyft said in a statement to Axios. It’s unclear whether the service in the San Francisco area will get a new sponsor or sport the Lyft brand.
- This appears to be an isolated move as Lyft, which acquired bike-share operator Motivate last year, has no plans at the moment to end any of its other sponsorship deals, such as Citigroup’s in New York, according to a source.
- The sponsorship deals, at times valued at several millions of dollars, were a major source of revenue for Motivate. Now that it’s part of Lyft, the ending of some of its deals doesn’t come as a shock.