BMW and Daimler invest over 1 billion euros in joint mobility services

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 22 Feb 2019


German luxury carmajor, the BMW Group and Daimler AG today announced that they are pooling their mobility services to create a new global player providing sustainable urban mobility for customers. The two companies are investing more than 1 billion euros (Rs 8,069 crore) in total to develop and more closely intermesh their offerings for car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport.

The cooperation comprises five joint ventures: Reach Now for multimodal services; Charge Now for charging; Free Now for cab ride-hailing; Park Now for parking and Share Now for car-sharing.

Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said:  “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 euros (Rs 8,069 crore) to establish a new player in the fast-growing market for urban mobility."

"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 cooperations with other providers, including stakes in startups and established players, are also a possible option,” added Zetsche.

Harald Kruger, management board chairman, BMW AG, said: “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. This service portfolio will be a key cornerstone in our strategy as a mobility provider. The cooperation is the perfect way for us to maximise our chances in a growing market, while sharing the investments.”

60 million active customers
The two companies’ mobility services has a wealth of experience and a strong customer base, with a combined total of over 60 million active customers at present. Building on their current, product range and robust costumer base in the key regions of Europe and America, the companies will grow their global footprint as their existing mobility services combine to form five joint ventures:

Reach Now: Offers more than 6.7 million users simple, direct access to a range of mobility services through a single multimodal platform. The apps will offer a range of options for getting from A to B, allowing users to book and pay directly for public transport and various other mobility options, such as car-sharing, ride-hailing and bike rentals. Reach Now will be managed by Daniela Gerd tom Markotten as CEO and Johannes Prantl as CFO.

Charge Now: is a service by Digital Charging Solutions (DCS), and its comprehensive charging network is a key contributor to zero-emissions driving. It makes public charge points quick and easy to locate, use and pay for, both at home and abroad. Digital Charging Solutions develops simple, standardised access to public charge points for car manufacturers and fleet operators. With over 100,000 charge points across 25 countries, its white-label solutions are helping OEMs and fleet operators to realise their strategies for electric mobility. The partners say customers will benefit from cross-border access to one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing charging networks, with over 250 charge point operators (CPOs).

Park Now: The digital parking service offers users the best possible parking solutions at a glance, allowing them to reserve parking slots and manage their parking times, and enables ticketless entry and exit in public garages as well as cashless payment of parking fees. In addition, with the search for parking currently accounting for about 30 percent of the traffic on urban roads. In Europe and North America over 30 million customers are already using the service in more than 1,100 cities. Charge Now and Park Now is being headed by Jorg Reimann, CEO, with Thomas Menzel as CFO.

Free Now: offers a variety of mobility services including taxis, private chauffeurs with rental vehicles, and e-scooters. One of the largest ride-hailing services in Europe and Latin America, Free Now serves more than 21 million customers and over 250,000 drivers. Free Now is headed by Marc Berg, CEO with Sebastian Hofelich as CFO.

Share Now: is a free-floating car-sharing service that allows customers to rent and pay for vehicles by smartphone — anytime, anywhere. Its fleet will now be extended to incorporate a wider range of models and increase market coverage. At present more than 4 million customers in total use the fleet’s 20,000 vehicles in 31 cities around the world. The partners say car-sharing increases vehicle utilisation rates, helping to cut the overall number of cars on the roads in urban areas. Olivier Reppert has been appointed CEO of Share Now and Stefan Glebke as CFO.

“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,” Kruger explained.

BMW and Daimler have confirmed that Berlin will be the base for the organisation’s headquarters, which they say is a hub of creativity and innovation. 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.

“As premium manufacturers, we have long been setting standards in the automotive industry and for our customers. In the premium vehicle business, we will continue to compete for customers. But our new portfolio for individual urban mobility on demand represents a logical extension to the value chain. Ultimately, we want to offer our customers as many options as possible for getting from A to B. In short, this is about driving, riding or being driven," concluded Zetsche.


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