Jan 8, 2019 - Technology

Scoop: Ford to end sponsorship of Lyft-owned bike share service

Row of Ford GoBikes for rent in San Francisco.

Ford GoBikes in San Francisco. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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.

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.

Go deeper: A look at Lyft's big bike-sharing buy

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