Say goodbye to Canvas, which Ford has sold to a rival car-subscription provider.
Subscription plans stand to revolutionize the automotive marketplace and change the way people get behind the wheel. But it hasn't always been easy sailing for the carmakers seeking to get in on the action. In fact one such major manufacturer has now sold its subscription service and gotten out of the game altogether.
Ford announced late last week the sale of its Canvas subscription service to a rival provider. While Canvas was previously part of the Ford Motor Credit Company, it will now be owned and operated by Fair, an independent company that lets customers subscribe on their smartphones.
Fair launched a little over two years ago, founded by chairman Georg Bauer (a longtime financial exec for Mercedes, BMW, and Tesla) and chief exec Scott Painter (former head of TrueCar, CarsDirect, and gas-cost startup Pricelock). It has some 45,000 subscribers in 30 markets across the country – including rideshare drivers through a partnership with Uber – who can choose from dozens of makes and models, priced by the week, with no long-term commitment.
Canvas meanwhile was Ford's foray into the automotive-subscription marketplace, but unlike some of its competitors, offered only pre-owned cars – not only from Ford, but other manufacturers as well.
Canvas also powered Lincoln's troubled subscription plan to rival Book by Cadillac, Care by Volvo, and Access by BMW (among others). Terms of the sale were no disclosed. However current Canvas subscribers – of which there are some 3,800 in California and Texas – will be allowed to finish their current subscriptions before being integrated into Fair's system.
"Canvas built an impressive business and we learned a lot about subscription services, fleet management and the technology that underlies both," said Ford Credit exec Sam Smith. "We are proud of the work that was done in support of Canvas and we wish the entire team the best of luck."