Former Tesla exec O"Connell joins Scott Painter"s Fair

Fair, the used-vehicle leasing subscription service led by TrueCar founder Scott Painter, has added another industry leader to its team: former Tesla executive Diarmuid O"Connell.

O"Connell, who left Tesla last year after more than a decade with the automaker, led Tesla"s state-by-state battle to sell its vehicles through factory-owned stores as the company"s vice president of business development.

He began working with Fair in January and now is its chief strategy officer, helping to direct the company as it prepares to expand from California to major markets across the nation this year, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Through Fair, which launched in August, consumers can shop for used-vehicle leases with no term via a mobile app. They scan their licenses to get pre-qualified for a range of monthly payments that include maintenance, a warranty, insurance and roadside assistance. Rather than stick to, say, a two- or four-year lease term, customers can return their cars whenever they want.

Fair makes "it possible for folks to access car ownership without having to burden themselves with financial instruments that lock them in," O"Connell told Automotive News.

"Pervasive problems"

"The best companies solve big, pervasive problems, and there"s no bigger one in auto than customers having to take out a massive loan for a car they"re forced to drive years past obsolescence -- all while watching it constantly lose value," O"Connell added in the statement. "I"m excited to help transform how people get a car with a process that"s totally transparent and mirrors the countless other digital transactions they make -- on their terms and with no long-term commitment."

At Tesla, O"Connell managed commercial and automaker relationships, negotiated strategic deals and led global public policy initiatives, the statement said. Before working for the automaker, O"Connell was chief of staff for political military affairs at the U.S. State Department.

"Diarmuid"s experience launching revolutionary products will be a critical aspect of our growth plan, while his operational savvy and close relationships at all levels of business and government will help us overcome countless obstacles along the way," said Fair CEO Painter.

California so far

So far, Fair is working with hundreds of dealerships in California, but the company plans to expand to 14 major markets over the next two quarters, Painter said last month.

Fair has acquired and partnered with technology companies this year and linked with Ally Financial, one of the largest auto lenders in the country.

In February, Fair acquired certain assets of Skurt, a vehicle-delivery app, in an effort to begin to quickly scale a cost-effective platform for vehicle delivery, pickup and fleet management, the statement said. In January, it launched a partnership with Uber that provides Uber drivers access to vehicles through Fair. The company also acquired the lease portfolio of Uber subsidiary Xchange Leasing.

Last month, Fair announced a strategic relationship with Ally Financial in which Fair will use Ally"s SmartAuction platform as a remarketing solution for its returned cars and offer consumers flexible car financing powered by Ally"s Clearlane program.