BMW seeking further partners for mobility venture

21 October 2019

21 October 2019 BMW would be happy to welcome additional automotive partners for its mobility venture Share Now, which it runs with Daimler. The German carmaker’s new CEO, Oliver Zipse, told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper that he would welcome additional partners in an area ′which has great potential future.’ Collaborations, as well as financial investments, were options for any future partners, he said, adding that customers want a wide choice across different brands. Forward planning Daimler and BMW merged their respective car2go and Drive Now services into a series of mobility businesses last year, with each holding 50% in the venture. These include car-sharing, parking and electric vehicle (EV) charging. Since the announcement, Share Now, the joint mobility operation, has announced plans to increase the number of EVs on its European fleet to over 4,000 by the end of the year. The move will see the proportion of electric vehicles it offers to customers grow to 26%. A number of locations will become electric-only, while other territories will feature a mix of electric and internal combustion engine vehicles. Rocky road However, the partnership has not been without its problems. The head of Reach Now, Daniela Gerd, resigned last month over a disagreement on the level of investment pumped into the business, according to reports. The Reach Now platform offers users the ability to book and pay for public transport and other mobility services, such as car-sharing, ride-hailing and cycle rentals. Zipse’s suggestion that it would welcome additional partners would allow an increase in investment, in a market that is growing thanks to a declining number of people choosing to purchase a car outright. The two carmakers are not averse to introducing new companies into their collaborations, with Audi joining BMW and Daimler’s autonomous driving venture. Number one Zipse also told the newspaper that BMW aims to take Daimler’s crown as the world’s largest maker of luxury cars but said there was no target by when this should be achieved. ′Of course, the claim of a brand like BMW has to be number one. Sales volume is not the only yardstick here,’ he was quoted as saying. The comments highlight that despite their various collaborations, the two German brands remain firm rivals in the wider automotive market.