Ford’s corporate citizenship effort, The People’s Fleet, is returning to Los Angeles this summer. Launched in LA last September, Ford will once again provide non-profit organizations (apply online here, or ping the organizers on Twitter) with their own 2012 Ford Focus for three months.
In return, the recipients must agree to let a video crew record their activities for Ford’s marketing and promotional use. As Ford puts it, “Transportation needs will be met, stories captured and shared, and communities activated.”
The launch program involved 12 organizations over eight weeks, but this time around it’s granting loaners to four non-profits over 12 weeks — a reduction in scope that might disappoint at least one local observer.[more]
It’s a great idea but I hope that Ford is thinking beyond the eight-week pilot program. Rather than take the cars to another city as part of a campaign, Ford might work to establish a useful city-wide system where organizations working towards social change could share a fleet of cars with each other. There’s a disappointing lack of car-sharing programs in L.A., with only two small nodes clustered around USC and UCLA—in fact, a new report by the city released recommended that companies like ZipCar add more stations to better serve the growing car-free population. If Ford stepped in, they could use the model of these non-profits to show other startups that sharing cars is a smart and sustainable solution for businesses.