BMW Group and Daimler Mobility JV serves over 90 million customer across 1,300 cities

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 16 Dec 2019


German luxury carmakers BMW Group and Daimler Mobility are seeing a robust growth in their JV 'YOUR NOW', which was launched in February 2019. The companies say they are maintaining their growth course with almost 90 million people currently using the joint venture's mobility services for car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal platforms, which are offered in over 1,300 cities worldwide.

The partners say the shareholders are now setting course for their next phase of expansion, which will be focused on profitable growth. The services offered by the JV will continue to be tailored to customer needs and clustered into the following pillars: 'Free now, Share now, Park now and charge now.' The introduction of a new umbrella organisation, effective January 1, 2020, will support efficient management of these pillars.

Rainer Feurer, senior vice-president, Investment at BMW Group: “As a shareholder, we firmly believe that combining the services into three pillars will strengthen the joint ventures’ impact and focus in a highly competitive, fast-growing environment. Both shareholders are backing the YOUR NOW business model and are determined to develop the joint ventures into a leading player in the mobility market.”

Franz Reiner, CEO, Daimler Mobility: “We are setting the course for the YOUR NOW joint ventures to achieve sustainable profitability. At the same time, partnerships are increasingly important to success in the marketplace and, in this respect, we are open to further stepping up growth.”

300 million trips and counting
FREE NOW has registered revenue of more than 2 billion euros (Rs 15,821 crore) and has completed almost 300 million trips. FREE NOW (formerly mytaxi) is one of Europe's leading mobility providers, which includes the taxi and ride-hailing services FREE NOW, Beat, Kapten and electric scooter service Hive, is heading for record earnings for 2019. The annual GMV run rate (gross merchandise volume; platform revenues) is expected to reach more than 2 billion euros – increasing the previous year's figure significantly.

In 2019, the volume of tours (i.e. number of trips) was up 120 percent from 2018: FREE NOW will have completed almost 300 million trips in 18 European and Latin American countries by the end 2019. The partners say more than 39 million passengers took advantage of the services provided by more than 800,000 affiliated drivers. Growth was also driven in part by the highly successful launch of Beat in Mexico City and Kapten in London, as well as expansion of the FREE NOW car rental service 'Ride' in Germany, which allows customers to book a rental car with a licensed driver at a fixed rate.

The service also plans additional mobility services, such as e-scooters, electric bikes, car-sharing and public transport will also be integrated into the app, alongside its core ride-hailing business.

MaaS sees over 7 million users
This integration of multimodal mobility offerings builds on REACH NOW’s expertise in pooling several mobility services, with booking options, on a single platform (“Mobility-as-a-Service“ or MaaS). REACH NOW services are currently used by more than 7 million people in 20 cities worldwide.

What's more, the OEMs say that SHARE NOW will be systematically further developed, as integration of car2go and DriveNow continues. The free-floating car-sharing provider SHARE NOW, which has emerged from the two services car2go and DriveNow, has registered about 1 million new customers since the start of the year. With the addition of Paris in January and Budapest in April, SHARE NOW expanded its European footprint in 2019 to include two major capitals. In the future, the focus will be on cities that promise long-term profitable growth. A review is currently underway to determine where reorganisation may be needed.

At the same time, the car-sharing business is being systematically further developed and the successful integration of the two services continues: The SHARE NOW app has been available since November 2019. In Vienna, the new SHARE NOW app enables car2go and DriveNow vehicles to be reserved and rented directly for the first time, with more cities to follow. The offering will be expanded, following a successful pilot phase that tested long-term car-sharing in Milan and Hamburg. Long-term car sharing offers the option of renting SHARE NOW vehicles for up to 14 days.

Enabling e-mobility with over 130,000 EV chargers
In terms of enabling electrification, the CHARGE NOW business continues to see high growth in Europe, where the partners say it is the leading aggregator of charging infrastructure and therefore a key driver for higher market penetration of e-mobility. CHARGE NOW's charging services already provide access to 85 percent of the European charging network in 30 European markets. It comprises more than 130,000 charge points and contracts with around 400 charge point operators. In Germany alone, CHARGE NOW achieves 98 percent market coverage.

PARK NOW lets customers use an app to search and pay for on- and off-road parking spaces. In 2019, PARK NOW further expanded its leadership in digital parking solutions, and added over 36 million customers in 10 EU countries and the US use the services of the PARK NOW Group.

PARK NOW reached 230 million transactions with its core brand, plus Parkmobile, RingGo and Parkline, in 2019. It is proving itself as a partner for modern municipalities and has been recognised with the European Parking Award for emission-based parking solutions in the UK.