Editor's choice
22 fév 19

BMW and Daimler invest €1bn in mobility joint venture

BMW Group and Daimler AG have revealed the five 'verticals' into which they will pool their mobility cooperation. At a press event in Berlin, the manufacturers said they'll invest €1 billion to develop the joint venture. 

“Enemies with benefits” is how tech journalist Laurie Segall, who interviewed the two top CEOs in Berlin, described the creation by both arch-competitors of a new global player providing sustainable urban mobility. Jewel in the crown undoubtedly is the carsharing joint venture, which combines two global leaders in the field: DriveNow (BMW) and car2go (Daimler). In all, the joint venture will be the first group worldwide to offer all mobility options available today under 'one roof', with the added advantage of the combined equity of both OEMs to back up investment and growth.

Both Dr Dieter Zetsche (pictured right), Chairman of Daimler AG (parent of Mercedes-Benz) and Harald Krüger (pictured left), CEO of BMW Group, confirmed that the two manufacturers would remain competitors when it comes to cars – even as they pool their efforts in mobility – and more specifically in five areas: multimodal services (REACH NOW), charging (CHARGE NOW), parking (PARK NOW), ridehailing (FREE NOW) and carsharing (SHARE NOW). "This is a startup with 60 million customers," joked Dr Zetsche. 

REACH NOW

  • Simple, direct access to a range of mobility services via a single, multimodal platform.
  • A combined 6.7 million users can book and pay for public transport and other mobility options (carsharing, ridehailing, bike rentals, etc.)
  • CEO: Daniela Gerd tom Markotten (until now CEO of moovel)

CHARGE NOW

  • The biggest charging network in the world, with over 100,000 charge points across 25 countries, bringing together more than 250 charge point operators. 
  • Provides white-label solutions for OEMs and fleet operators, including cross-border access. 
  • End users get quick and easy charge points, both at home and abroad. 

PARK NOW

  • Innovative parking solutions, allowing users to reserve and manage their parking times, enabling ticketless entry and exit and cashless payment. 
  • Over 30 million customers in Europe and North America, in a total of more than 1,100 cities. 
  • CEO: Jörg Reimann (until now CEO at Parkmobile BV and Digital Charging Solutions GmbH)

FREE NOW

  • Offers a variety of mobility services including taxis, chauffeur-driven rentals, and e-scooters.
  • More than 21 million customers and over 250,000 drivers in Europe and Latin America. 
  • CEO: Marc Berg (until now CEO at Intelligent Apps GmbH)

SHARE NOW

  • Free-floating carsharing allowing customers to rent and pay vehicles via smartphone. 
  • More than 4 million customers, using a fleet of around 20,000 vehicles in 31 cities around the world. 
  • CEO: Olivier Reppel

Announced over a year ago, the joint venture was rumoured to be called 'Jurbey', but that name didn't pass anybody's lips during the press conference. In reference to the names of the five 'verticals', the joint venture has already been called the 'Now Group'. A spokesperson later confirmed that the 'Now' in the names of the five companies will be the only outward link between the five companies: "It stands for easy, direct, on-demand access to our mobility ecosystem (...) There won't be an umbrella brand (name)." The two CEOs said the five 'verticals' would be left to develop their own path forward - Daimler and BMW were simply the shareholders, and wouldn't stifle the initiative of the new companies. 

“We're 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 Dr Zetsche. “We'll be able to shape the future of urban mobility and benefit from the opportunities offered by digitalisation, shared services and our customers' increasing mobility needs. Further cooperations with other providers, including stakes in startups and established players, are also an option.”

“This is a global game-changer”, said Mr Krüger. “The 60 million customers we already have will benefit from a seamless, sustainable mobility ecosystem. These five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility portfolio, with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously and interconnect with the other modes of transport.” 

Authored by: Frank Jacobs