Daimler AG and BMW AG have forged an agreement into which they will pour more than 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) into a car-sharing and ride-hailing businesses. They plan to take on established players like Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc.
Is Ride-Sharing the Future for the Auto Industry?
The new venture was first announced almost one year ago. It will combine Daimler’s Car2go and BMW’s DriveNow to create the world’s biggest car-sharing operator by users, according to BloombergNEF. It also includes Daimler’s MyTaxi, Europe’s largest ride-hailing app. The companies set up their respective car-sharing businesses years ago but have struggled to turn a profit.
“The five services will melt together more and more into a mobility offering with fully electric and self-driving fleets,” BMW CEO Harald Krueger said. “This will be a central pillar of our strategy as a mobility provider.”
Daimler and BMW are clearly seeing a future where fewer people own cars. Instead, they will use of car and ride-sharing services to meet their daily mobility needs. If they want to remain relevant, they need to lead the move to the world Uber and Lyft first started to create.