Jan 9, 2019

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

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

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: CDC monitoring 4 presumptive positive cases in western U.S.

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

State public health authorities are monitoring four new presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus as of late Friday evening, per the CDC. California is evaluating a second possible instance of community spread as Oregon announced its first possible case. Washington state has two presumptive cases, only one of which is likely travel-related.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,900 people and infected more than 85,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 min ago - Health

Don't panic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The stock market is heading south with unprecedented velocity. Does that mean it's crashing? Are we in a recession? Is this a financial crisis?

No, no, and no.

Sanders' big socialism rebrand

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Bernie Sanders is trying to rebrand socialism in the U.S., but he'll have to overcome common fears about what the word means — fears the Trump campaign is watching and waiting to exploit.

Why it matters: Sanders may face a major challenge in convincing Americans in their 40s or older that there's a meaningful difference between what he supports, described as democratic socialism, and the authoritarian socialism that we've seen in regimes like Venezuela.