German carmakers Daimler and BMW are planning to merge their urban mobility services, which include car-sharing units Car2Go and DriveNow as well as ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodality services.
Each company will hold a 50% stake in the new joint venture, which aims to strengthen and expand their existing on-demand mobility offerings. The agreement is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities.
“As pioneers in automotive engineering, we will not leave the task of shaping future urban mobility to others,” commented Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the management board of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “There will be more people than ever before without a car who will still want to be extremely mobile. We want to combine our expertise and experience to develop a unique, sustainable ecosystem for urban mobility.”
The partners say they intend to offer intelligent, seamlessly connected mobility services, available at the tap of a finger.
“The key to more liveable cities is in intelligent and seamless services that are easy to use and combine sustainable modes of transport and mobility services,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the management board of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad, Customer Engagement and Digital Business Innovation at BMW Group.
Industry observers say the two rival companies are joining forces to help gain the economies of scale needed to compete with tech-based operators such as Uber and China’s Didi Chuxing.
Consultancy PwC has predicted that carmakers will become marginalised by these new entrants if they do not develop pay-per-mile mobility services, Reuters reports.
The two companies will remain competitors in the market for luxury cars. So the question is, will they be able to set aside this rivalry to work together?