Daimler, BMW said to explore sale of Park Now app business
Daimler AG and BMW AG are exploring a sale of their jointly owned parking-app business Park Now, according to people familiar with the matter, as the German luxury-car makers focus on their core automotive operations.
The companies are working with advisory firm Rothschild & Co. on the potential divestment, said the people, who asked not to be identified because discussions are private. Park Now is expected to fetch several hundred million euros, they said.
Daimler and BMW merged their mobility units last year under then-chief executive officers Dieter Zetsche and Harald Krueger, forming a joint venture called Your Now that combined five business segments including the parking app. The companies’ current CEOs, Daimler’s Ola Kallenius and BMW’s Oliver Zipse, have had their hands full focusing on generating cash and improving efficiency within their car-making operations.
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The Free Now ride-hailing service within the joint venture has attracted interest from Uber Technologies Inc., people familiar with the matter said last month. Automakers have been scaling back their mobility-service ambitions, with General Motors Co. shutting down its Maven car-sharing business earlier this year and Ford Motor Co. ceasing its Chariot shuttle service in 2019.
There’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said. Representatives for Daimler, BMW and Rothschild declined to comment.
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Park Now allows drivers to use a mobile app to pay for parking on the street and in parking lots. The business traces its roots to phone parking in Amsterdam in 2000 and now operates in more than 1,000 cities around the world, according to its website.
Making money with mobility services has proven a challenge for tech firms and automakers alike. Transport regulations vary significantly across regions and have made it difficult to scale up operations.