Two industry giants are set to join hands in order to expand their collective urban mobility ventures under a new global entity. The joint venture is likely to generate up to 1,000 new jobs worldwide.
The BMW Group and Daimler AG are set to combine their urban mobility services into a new, single business entity via a €1 billion investment, which will function through the merger of five existing services – REACH NOW for multimodal services, CHARGE NOW for charging, FREE NOW for taxi ride-hailing, PARK NOW for parking and SHARE NOW for car-sharing.
'Our mobility services have developed a strong customer base, and we are now taking the next strategic step. We are pooling the strength and expertise of 14 successful brands and investing more than €1 billion to establish a new player in the fast-growing market for urban mobility,' said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
'We are creating a leading global game changer. The 60 million customers we already have today will benefit from a seamlessly integrated, sustainable ecosystem of car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport services. We have a clear vision. These five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously and interconnect with the other modes of transport,' said Harald Krüger, Management Board Chairman of BMW Group.
REACH NOW offers more than 6.7 million users simple, direct access to a range of mobility services through a single multimodal platform. The REACH NOW apps will offer a range of options for getting from point to another, allowing users to book and pay directly for public transport and various other mobility options, such as car-sharing, ride-hailing and bike rentals.
PARK NOW makes parking easier, both on and off the street. The innovative digital parking service offers users the best possible parking solutions and allows them to reserve parking slots and manage their parking times. It also enables ticketless entry and exit in public garages as well as cashless payment of parking fees.
CHARGE NOW is a service by Digital Charging Solutions GmbH (DCS), and its comprehensive charging network is a key contributor to zero-emissions driving. CHARGE NOW makes public charge points (with over 100,000 charge points across 25 countries) easy to locate, use and pay for.
FREE NOW offers a variety of mobility services including taxis, private chauffeurs with rental vehicles and state-of-the-art e-scooters, all at the tap of a finger. FREE NOW already serves more than 21 million customers and over 250,000 drivers, who make a valuable contribution to the reduction of traffic in city centres.
SHARE NOW is a free-floating car-sharing service that allows customers to rent and pay for vehicles using their smartphones. Its fleet will now be extended to incorporate a wider range of models and increase market coverage. More than 4 million customers currently use the fleet’s 20,000 vehicles in 31 cities around the world.
'We are steering very clearly towards growth, and together we will continue to invest consistently in our joint mobility services. As well as linking in additional transport options, we want to reach out to even more people in towns and cities across the world, thereby improving the quality of urban life,' Krüger explained. This new project has chosen Berlin as the base for its headquarters.