In a very interesting, even if very open to interpretation, move, Daimler and BMW are considering the merger of their two carsharing services — Car2Go and DriveNow — according to recent reports.
Presumably, if the two companies move ahead with the plans (or with the rumored plans, more accurately), it will be to better compete with rapidly growing firms like Uber and Lyft. (Yes, I’m aware that Uber isn’t technically profitable at the moment, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s expanding very aggressively and growing rapidly.)
This perspective was echoed by German Manager Magazin in its recent coverage of the topic.
Tech Crunch provides more:
“Daimler’s Car2Go and BMW’s DriveNow offer short-term rentals of vehicles from their respective owners, which is more similar to a service like Zipcar than to a ride-hailing offering like Uber, but the fact remains that both models compete with car ownership at the most fundamental level.
“Both DriveNow and Car2Go would retain their own individual branding, but combined operations would help both automakers save money and chart a quicker path to larger profits from their mobility services divisions, according to the Manager report. Other possibilities on the table include incorporating other transportation services offers by BMW and Daimler, including MyTaxi and ParkNow, for instance.”
A sensible choice, if it ends up happening. Though it probably sounds incomprehensible to some, I wouldn’t be surprised if there ended up being a number of major mergers, buy ins, and/or acquisitions in the German auto industry over just the next 2 to 3 decades.
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