BMW and Daimler have officially announced they are to join forces in the ride-sharing market, a development that has been rumoured since early last year.
Subject to examination and approval by the responsible competition authorities, the BMW Group and Daimler AG plan to combine and strategically expand their existing on-demand mobility offering in the areas of car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodality. Each company will hold a 50% stake in a joint-venture model comprising both companies’ mobility services.
The aim of the model is to become a leading provider of mobility services, a growing market and potential game-changer in the industry as traditional ownership models change. Both manufacturers aim to shape the market, offering unique services and supporting their partners in cities and communities that offer the ride-sharing platform.
In a statement, the two companies said: ‘BMW Group and Daimler AG plan to grow this new business model sustainably and enable rapid global scaling of services. Working as partners, both companies are thereby addressing the challenges arising from urban mobility and changing customer wishes, and cooperating with cities, municipalities and other interest groups to improve quality of life in major cities. The merger will promote electromobility, for example, by offering electrified car-sharing vehicles, as well as easy access to charging and parking options. As a result, it will become even easier to experience and use sustainable mobility services.’
‘The BMW Group is shaping future mobility – and striking out in new directions to do so. Our Strategy ‘NUMBER ONE > NEXT’ provides the BMW Group with a roadmap to a digital and emission-free future,’ said Harald Krüger, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG. ‘Combining our mobility services as planned will create a unique digital ecosystem. This alliance will make it easier for our customers to discover the emission-free mobility of the future. We remain competitors when it comes to the best premium vehicles. The planned merger of our mobility services will pool our resources and sends a strong signal to our new competitors.’
‘As pioneers in automotive engineering, we will not leave the task of shaping future urban mobility to others. There will be more people than ever before without a car who will still want to be extremely mobile. We want to combine our expertise and experience to develop a unique, sustainable ecosystem for urban mobility,’ said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Car2Go and DriveNow operate a total of 20,000 vehicles in 31 major international cities. Car-sharing enables better utilisation of vehicles and thus helps reduce the total number of vehicles in cities. More than four million customers already use these Car-sharing services.
The road to this joint venture has seen BMW buy out former DriveNow partner Sixt, while Daimler has taken full control of car2go, purchasing the shares of EuropCar. Sixt is now aiming to develop its own ride-sharing platform in competition for the new manufacturer-backed venture.