Stellantis to own Mercedes and BMW’s car-sharing venture
Stellantis will buy the car-sharing venture called Share Now formed by Mercedes-Benz and BMW. According to a report by Bloomberg, Stellantis' Free2Move mobility brand has not revealed the price at which it is buying the service which has around 3.4 million customers in 16 European cities. The move is seen as a route to push the revenues as the automaker makes its transition towards electric vehicles. The Share Now service is the European market leader and has added longer-term rental options using vehicles like BMW MINI and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
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Mercedes-Benz and BMW came together in 2018 to combine their services to compete against mobility service providers such as Uber Technologies Inc. The aim was to save cost, however, both the premium German automakers' decision to sell the car-sharing service shows the hurdles in providing such a facility to earn profits without the requisite scale. Stellantis shared that since it has a broad presence in North America owing to Chrysler and Jeep, it will have better chances for car-sharing success. It will gradually replace the BMW and Mercedes Benz vehicles in its fleet with models from Stellantis brands, the company said.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz started their car-sharing services in 2011 and 2008, respectively. In this way both the premium companies wanted younger buyers to get their hands on their respective vehicles and also keep up with changing mobility needs in cities. However, Share Now by Mercedes and BMW has been struggling to earn a significant profit.
Stellantis’s Free2Move Chief Executive Officer Brigitte Courtehoux said in the report the combined companies will aim to have entirely electrified fleets in Europe by 2030 and the same in the United States by 2035. Free2Move has around 2 million customers for its app-based parking, leasing and rental services. Over the 10 years, Stellantis aims to expand Free2move’s presence worldwide, by taking it to 15 million active users and also achieving net revenues of 2.8 billion euros.