Carmakers are building alternative models to vehicle ownership like it’s going out of style (it probably is). Two of those side bets on collaborative transportation might be coming together, according to a new report that says Daimler and BMW are considering merging their car-sharing services Car2Go and DriveNow.
The combo is designed as a way to better compete with rivals from outside the automotive industry like Uber, reports Germany’s Manager Magazin, which are also putting pressure on ownership in urban markets. Daimler’s Car2Go and BMW’s DriveNow offer short-term rentals of vehicles from their respective owners, which is more similar to a service like Zipcar than to a ride-hailing offering like Uber, but the fact remains that both models compete with car ownership at the most fundamental level.
Both DriveNow and Car2Go would retain their own individual branding, but combined operations would help both automakers save money and chart a quicker path to larger profits from their mobility services divisions, according to the Manager report. Other possibilities on the table include incorporating other transportation services offers by BMW and Daimler, including MyTaxi and ParkNow, for instance.
Volkwagen’s Moia is another recent example of an effort by a major carmaker to build out its mobility services portfolio, and Ford recently acquired on-demand carpooling startup Chariot through its own Mobility Solutions subsidiary.