Ford has agreed to sell its Canvas vehicle subscription business to startup company Fair.
Ford has been piloting a vehicle subscription business in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas, where customers pay a monthly fee starting at $400 to drive a number of different leased vehicles. The fee includes insurance, warranty, maintenance and roadside assistance.
Canvas never proved hugely popular for the car manufacturer, only serving a reported 3,800 customers.
Despite that, executive vice president of strategy and future products at Ford Credit, Sam Smith, said: “Canvas built an impressive business and we learned a lot about subscription services, fleet management and the technology that underlies both. We are proud of the work that was done in support of Canvas and we wish the entire team the best of luck.”
Fair’s app-based subscription model was launched in mid-2017 and has apparently been downloaded more than 3.2 million times in 30 national markets across the United States. The service allows consumers to shop for used-vehicle leases with no fixed term. Users can then sign up for a monthly payment on a vehicle and return it whenever they choose.
Softbank Corp led a $385 million round of financing for Fair in late 2018.
“Canvas has built innovative subscription products that are relevant to consumers today, and like Fair, has opened up new ways for consumers to gain access to mobility,” Fair co-founder and chairman Georg Bauer said. “This acquisition underscores our shared commitment to providing consumers with the car they want on their own terms.”