Ford buying scooter company Spin


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DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is buying an electric scooter company called Spin, the automaker said Thursday, in a bid to expand its mobility offerings and reach consumers who need short-distance transportation solutions.

Ford said the scooters will roll out in 100 cities over the next 18 months, including a Thursday launch here.

“We understand mobility is not just vehicles at this point,” Sunny Madra, vice president of Ford’s mobility incubator, Ford X, told Automotive News. “This is our play in addressing the micromobility business.”

News of the acquisition comes a week after crosstown rival General Motors said it would launch a new brand and lineup of electrified bicycles in 2019. Ford also offers bicycles through Ford GoBike, a West Coast bike rental service.

Ford did not reveal the purchase price for Spin. Axios, which reported the deal Wednesday afternoon, described it as being “in the range of $40 million,” citing a source.

Dockless electric scooters have exploded in popularity in cities across the U.S. in recent months. Customers can download an app, locate a scooter, scan a code and ride. Prices are typically $1 to unlock a scooter and 15 cents per minute of usage.

Scooter startups, including Lime and Bird, have said customers have taken 10 million rides in less than a year. By comparison, Madra said it took Uber three years to reach 3 million rides.

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