Daimler has come to terms with Europcar to buy out that firm’s 25% stake in the carsharing service Car2Go — for a reported €70 million — the two companies have jointly announced.
As the result of the Europcar deal, Daimler and BMW are reportedly close to coming to terms on the merger of the two firms’ carsharing services.
Reuters provides more: “The German carmakers want to build a joint business which includes car-sharing, ride-hailing, electric vehicle charging, and digital parking services, the person had said. BMW in January bought out its partner Sixt from DriveNow, which was seen as one step on the way to an alliance.”
“The two companies have not confirmed the plans, but Daimler said last month it was open to considering a broader alliance and a partial listing of its mobility services operations, which also includes its taxi-hailing and transportation services apps Mytaxi and Moovel.”
The reasons for the possible merger of services should be obvious — to benefit from operational synergy and more easily ready the services in question for the future rollout of self-driving taxi solutions.
A statement from Daimler on the matter read: “Today, Car2Go has algorithms which predict mobility demand and the fleets are strategically moved to optimize maximum usage and meet demand. The goal is to develop the required expertise and resources so that we are a leader in the future business with self-driving cars.”
The strategy makes enough sense. Though, it’s an open question how much Daimler and BMW will benefit from the changes coming to the auto industry over the coming decades. Don’t be too surprised if Waymo/Google is a larger transportation sector firm than they are before too long.