25 February, 2019

Daimler and BMW announce plans for mobility services

Daimler and BMW will invest over €1 billion in their new joint mobility venture, born from the merger of car2go and DriveNow.

Following the announcement last year that the two German rivals would be merging their car-sharing businesses, news has been scarce over how the carmakers would operate the venture. It comprises of five businesses; REACH NOW for multimodal services; CHARGE NOW for charging; FREE NOW for taxi ride-hailing; PARK NOW for parking and SHARE NOW for car-sharing.

‘Our mobility services have developed a strong customer base and we are now taking the next strategic step. We are pooling the strength and expertise of 14 successful brands and investing more than €1 billion to establish a new player in the fast-growing market for urban mobility,’ said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. ‘By creating an intelligent network of joint ventures, we will be able to shape current and future urban mobility and draw maximum benefit from the opportunities opened up by digitalisation, shared services and the increasing mobility needs of our customers. Further cooperation with other providers, including stakes in start-ups and established players, is also a possible option.’

‘We are creating a leading global game changer. The 60 million customers we already have today will benefit from a seamlessly integrated, sustainable ecosystem of car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport services. We have a clear vision: these five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously and interconnect with the other modes of transport,’ said Harald Krüger, management board chairman of BMW AG. ‘This service portfolio will be a key cornerstone in our strategy as a mobility provider. Cooperation is the perfect way for us to maximise our chances in a growing market while sharing the investments.’

In a joint press conference, the two companies said the businesses have a wealth of experience and a strong customer base, with a combined total of over 60 million active customers to date.

REACH NOW, CHARGE NOW, FREE NOW, PARK NOW and SHARE NOW represent innovative solutions by the BMW Group and Daimler AG for cities and municipalities seeking to make their traffic more efficient and sustainable, according to a joint statement from the companies. Thanks to their established services, the joint venture group already commands significant resources to support and systematically enhance sustainable urban mobility.

The new business will have its headquarters in Berlin, where the carmakers say they will create a hub of ‘creativity and innovation.’ The German capital is an attractive location for employees and upcoming talents. The next few years will see up to 1,000 new jobs created worldwide – including in Berlin and Germany.

After an initial phase of investment and growth, the new joint venture group will offer attractive profitability, which will be crucial to its success. ‘We are steering very clearly towards growth, and together we will continue to invest consistently in our joint mobility services. As well as linking in additional transport options, we want to reach out to even more people in towns and cities across the world, thereby improving the quality of urban life,’ Krüger explained.

BMW Group and Daimler AG are responding to the mobility needs of today and the future with a focus on cities. Digitalisation is a key enabler as it creates new opportunities for individual mobility. Over time, customers will be able to use and experience additional mobility options from all-electric autonomous fleets that are available on demand, charge and park themselves, and connect with other modes of transport beyond road and rail.