Customers will be able to opt in to Nissan’s new Intelligent Get & Go Micra scheme, which allows users to buy a Micra as part of a group and use it only when they need it. Groups are between three and five people, and around fifty people will be initially chosen to launch the scheme in Paris.
Nissan is aiming for groups of four ideally, though, so users can benefit from one day a week of car usage and one weekend per month. The sign-up site will go live next month.
The software being developed to facilitate the scheme is inspired by social media - users set up a personal profile on the app like other social networking sites - but doesn't actually use any existing platform, aside from promoting the strategy. A Whatsapp-style chat function will also allow users to keep up to date with the car's availability amongst their group, in addition to an app which tracks the car's location and availability.
Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO and chairman Carlos Ghosn today announced the plan in Lisbon and highlighted the profile-matching element of the scheme, which uses social networking to determine the group with which each user is best suited to share. Nissan claims the scheme is fully digital, using geo-location and smartphones to facilitate the car sharing.
The digital platform will match owners with compatible driving needs and owners are billed monthly according to how much they have used the Micra. The brand hasn't yet revealed what the initial cost to users is, but members of the scheme will sign up on a 12-month contract, and will need to find a replacement for themselves, should they wish to leave before the 12 months is over.
The scheme will use an Acenta-spec 0.9-litre Micra with Bose sound system. The cost of membership to the scheme includes insurance, servicing, access to the online community and the smartphone app that will host the service. A maximum annual limit of 15,000km (9323 miles) is slated for each group’s Micra. Perishables, including but not limited to fuel and wiper blades, are shared amongst the group based on the car's usage.
Nissan's more youthful target audience with the Micra is why the car was chosen; the car sharing strategy is aimed squarely at younger drivers too. It hasn't ruled out introducing other cars into the scheme, but only after feedback has been received from members driving the Micra.
Ghosn said: “We are moving toward a future where car usage may be more flexible, social and shared. At Nissan, we’re pioneering new ways to allow drivers to enjoy the freedom and financial benefits of shared car ownership. There is no better vehicle to launch this programme than the all-new Micra, which embodies the vision of Nissan Intelligent Mobility.”
The scheme will be launched first in Paris later this year, with the car-sharing beginning in April 2017. Nissan has yet to reveal further details about the scheme.