BMW and Daimler invest more than €1 billion in joint mobility services provider
The BMW Group and Daimler AG are pooling their mobility services and investing more than €1 billion to develop and more closely intermesh their offerings for carsharing, 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 carsharing.
"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 digitalization, 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."
"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 carsharing, 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 maximize our chances in a growing market, while sharing the investments."
The companies say they will grow their global footprint as their existing mobility services combine to form five joint ventures:
Reach Now offers 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 other mobility options, such as carsharing, ride-hailing, and bike rentals. Reach Now will be managed by Daniela Gerd tom Markotten as CEO, with Johannes Prantl as CFO.
Charge Now is a service by Digital Charging Solutions GmbH (DCS), and is designed to make public charge points quick and easy to locate, use, and pay for, both at home and abroad. Digital Charging Solutions GmbH develops simple, standardized access to public charge points for car manufacturers and fleet operators. More than 100,000 charge points are located across 25 countries, with over 250 charge point operators (CPOs) to date.
Park Now is a digital parking service that's designed to offer users the best possible parking solutions at a glance and allow them to reserve parking slots and manage their parking times It's also designed to enable ticketless entry and exit in public garages as well as cashless payment of parking fees. In Europe and North America, over 30 million customers are already using the service in more than 1100 cities. Charge Now and Park Now are headed by Jörg Reimann as 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 as CEO, with Sebastian Hofelich as CFO.
Share Now is a free-floating carsharing service that allows customers to rent and pay for vehicles by smartphone. Its fleet will now be extended to incorporate a wider range of models and increased market coverage. More than 4 million customers in total currently use the fleet's 20,000 vehicles in 31 cities around the world. Olivier Reppert has been appointed CEO of Share Now, with Stefan Glebke as CFO.
The companies have also announced an MOU to develop advanced driver assistance systems and automated vehicles.