With regulatory approval cleared, BMW and Daimler today revealed how they plan to invest more than $1 billion in a new joint venture that includes various transportation services across the U.S. and Europe.
The auto giants are bringing together their mobility services such as BMW-owned ReachNow and Daimler-owned car2go — along with others such as moovel and mytaxi — that have a combined 60 million-plus active customers. The joint venture will compete against other companies such as Uber and Lime that are expanding their own tech-powered transportation-related offerings.
There will be five individual businesses as part of the joint venture:
- REACH NOW, for multimodal services, includes moovel
- SHARE NOW, for car-sharing, includes car2go and DriveNow, BMW’s car-sharing service in Europe
- PARK NOW, for digital parking solutions
- CHARGE NOW, for electric vehicle charging
- FREE NOW, for taxi services
“As premium manufacturers, we have long been setting standards in the automotive industry and for our customers. In the premium vehicle business, we will continue to compete for customers,” Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said in a press release. “But our new portfolio for individual urban mobility on demand represents a logical extension to the value chain. Ultimately, we want to offer our customers as many options as possible for getting from A to B. In short, this is about driving, riding or being driven.”
ReachNow and car2go members across North America can continue to use the existing services as they’ve done in the past — there are no immediate changes.
Seattle was the first launch city for ReachNow and is also home to the ReachNow North American headquarters. ReachNow, which started in 2016, operates a shared-car fleet of 720 vehicles in Seattle, in addition to hundreds of vehicles in Portland, Ore. It has more than 100,000 members. The company also launched in Brooklyn but shut down the free-floating service there last year.
Former ReachNow CEO Steve Banfield stepped down last month. The rebranded REACH NOW is now led by CEO Daniela Gerd tom Markotten and CFO Dr. Johannes Pranti.
Seattle is car2go’s largest market; it has 127,000 members in the city and more than 700 vehicles.
Lime, the fast-growing mobility startup valued at more than $2 billion, recently launched its own car-sharing service in Seattle.