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Daimler, BMW merge car-sharing operations

March 28, 2018

German automakers Daimler and BMW have agreed to merge their transportation services businesses. The move will expand their offerings in car sharing, ride-hailing apps and systems for parking and charging electric cars.

Car2Go vehicles
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Zinken

German automotive giants Daimler and BMW said Wednesday they reached agreement on bringing car-sharing services Car2Go and DriveNow under one roof to create a European behemoth with around 4 million users to take on competitors such as Uber.

"We will not leave the task of shaping the future of urban mobility to others," Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said of the planned merger, which still requires approval from competition authorities.

"Both automotive manufacturers aim to shape the mobility of the future with this move, but will remain competitors in their respective core businesses."

Wide range of cars

Car2Go and DriveNow allows clients to rent Daimler's Smart cars and BMW's Minis as well as the two group's flagship Mercedes and BMW vehicles, which they can pick up and park wherever is convenient, rather than at a rental location.

Combined, the two heavyweights boast some 20,000 car-sharing vehicles in 30 cities across Europe and North America and an Asian foothold in Chongqing, China.

Companies across the car sector, which in Germany supports around 800,000 jobs, have been scrambling to adapt to an anticipated future of battery-powered and highly networked vehicles

The rise of new Silicon Valley challengers like ride-hailing giant Uber or electric carmaker Tesla have spurred German automakers into action, affording them a chance to move on from various scandals involving emissions cheating and collusion.

hg/mm (AFP, Reuters, AP)