The carsharing divisions of Daimler and BMW — Car2Go and DriveNow, respectively — may end up being merged, if recent talks between the companies prove successful.
That insight follows from an interview that Reuters conducted with an unnamed senior executive at one of the two German auto manufacturers. Notably, though, the official line is that this is all unfounded speculation — despite the unnamed source stating that talks were now in the “final” stages.
Interestingly, the merged firm will be independently run separate from either of the two auto manufacturers — with the two firms simply staying on as the two biggest stakeholders.
Also noteworthy here is that BMW’s ParkNow parking app will be run by the combined firm as well.
Reuters provides more: “The likely deal — first mooted more than a year ago — is seen as a way to help the German brands compete with the US-based ride-hailing service Uber.
“Daimler’s Car2Go, which launched in 2008, describes itself as the world’s largest one-way car-sharing service. It operates around 14,000 cars in 26 cities in North America, western Europe and China. DriveNow is a joint venture between BMW and car rental firm Sixt founded in 2011, which operates more than 6,000 vehicles in 9 major European cities.
“The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper reported, without citing its sources, that both brands would keep their names, but their technology would be merged. It said a deal could be signed next month.”
As noted earlier in this article, spokespersons for Daimler and BMW have all declined to confirm the possibility — which was referred to as speculation by the rep from Daimler.
As an endnote here, both DriveNow and Car2Go have been growing fairly rapidly in recent years — so some sort of merger relating to operations would make some sense, as a means of reducing costs and better competing with on-demand services such as Uber.
For much more news on both of these services, check out our Car2Go and DriveNow archives. By the way, scanning those archives, it seems we covered a potential merger of the two services in December 2016.
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