BERLIN: German auto giants BMW and Daimler said Friday they would invest one billion euros (US$1.1 billion) in combining and extending their carsharing schemes DriveNow and Car2Go, in future offering a slew of “mobility services”, including for electric cars.
“We are pooling the strength and expertise of 14 successful brands and investing more than one billion euros to establish a new player in the fast-growing market for urban mobility,” Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler said in a statement.
The two high-end manufacturers will organise their “mobility” businesses around five joint ventures.
Customers will be able to book shared cars, hail rides from taxis and chauffeur services, find and pay for parking spots and electric car charging points and plan “multimodal” journeys – pulling in alternatives like public transport and bike rentals.
All five strands will follow BMW’s naming scheme with titles like Park Now and Charge Now.
“These five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio,” BMW CEO Harald Krueger said.
Still further in the future, the two firms will offer “an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously and interconnect with other modes of transport,” he added.
BMW and Daimler’s carsharing and other services like Park Now or MyTaxi today boast a combined 60 million customers, the companies said.
The new joint venture will be based in the German capital and tech industry hub Berlin, and create “up to 1,000” jobs worldwide, they added.