Traditional competitors BMW and Daimler are to pool their resources into a €1bn fund intended on the provision of urban mobility for consumers.
The two companies are investing a minimum of €1bn in total to develop offerings for car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport. The cooperation will comprise of 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.
Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler 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 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 digitalization, shared services and the increasing mobility needs of our customers.”
The two companies’ mobility services have a have a combined total of over 60 million active customers to date. Zetsche also mentioned the possibility of future Daimler collaboration on mobility with further OEMs as well as BMW.
Harald Kruger, management board chairman of BMW, said: “We are creating a leading global game changer. The 60m 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.”
Current mobility services offered by the car manufacturers include DriveNow, a carsharing service wholly owned by BMW and founded in 2011. Daimler offer Car2Go, a car rental company that operates across Europe.
OEMs worldwide are investing heavily in the development of mobility services. General Motors is to take a 35% stake in British car technology company Wejo, as the company pursues car connectivity and telematics.