BMW and Daimler invest over €1 billion in joint mobility services provider
The recent investment represents a commitment to solutions that can make traffic across cities more efficient and sustainable, whilst ensuring mobility is convenient.
In November 2018, the European Commission approved the creation of joint ventures by Daimler and BMW. Following on from this, the two companies have combined their mobility services and are investing more than €1 billion 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 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, are also a possible option.”
The two companies’ mobility services have a wealth of experience and a strong customer base, with a combined total of over 60 million active customers to date. Building on their current, highly attractive product range and robust consumer 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.
“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. The cooperation is the perfect way for us to maximise our chances in a growing market, while sharing the investments.”
The first of the 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 REACH NOW 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.
CHARGE NOW is a service by Digital Charging Solutions GmbH (DCS) and its comprehensive charging network is a key contributor to zero-emissions driving. CHARGE NOW makes public chargepoints quick and easy to locate, use and pay for, both at home and abroad.
PARK NOW makes parking easier, on-street or off. The digital parking service offers users the best possible parking solutions at a glance, allows 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 per cent of the traffic on urban roads, PARK NOW is helping towns and cities to reduce traffic volumes, thereby helping to make city centres cleaner, healthier and more liveable.
FREE NOW offers a variety of mobility services including taxis, private chauffeurs with rental vehicles, and state-of-the-art e-scooters. One of the largest ride-hailing services in Europe and Latin America, FREE NOW already serves more than 21 million customers and over 250,000 drivers.
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. More than 4 million customers in total currently use the fleet’s 20,000 vehicles in 31 cities around the world.
“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.