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BMW Announces New Service, Acquisition, Possible Deal with Daimler

BMW Announces New Service, Acquisition, Possible Deal with Daimler

By Joseph Dobrian, January 30, 2018
BMW Group has announced the Car & Ride Sharing Lease, for both BMW and Mini vehicles. This new type of lease will allow its customers to earn extra income by renting their leased vehicles, or driving for ride-sharing providers. BMW Group Financial Services has launched this product in the states of California, Washington, and Oregon. BMW’s current vehicle sharing program, ReachNow, already serves more than 75,000 members in Brooklyn, N.Y., Portland, Ore., and Seattle. Through the ReachNow app, members have on-demand access, in their neighborhoods, to more than 1,300 BMW and Mini vehicles, including the all-electric BMW i3—without visiting a rental counter or having to return the vehicle to a specific location.

BMW has also announced the acquisition of DriveNow, formerly a joint venture of BMW and Sixt SE. This car sharing service is currently available to more than one million customers, in 13 European cities. DriveNow will henceforth operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW.

Car sharing is a car rental model by which customers can rent cars for short periods, often on an hourly basis. Car sharing services are currently available in more than 1,000 cities worldwide.

“We are very excited to provide an industry-leading, customer-centric approach to mobility services that will allow our customers the ultimate in flexible utilization over the life of their contract with BMW Group Financial Services,” said Ian Smith, CEO of BMW Financial Services Group, Region Americas. “As a company, we are committed to delivering a simple and transparent solution that optimizes our already premium customer experience.”

BMW is also in talks with its traditional rival, Daimler, according to Reuters news agency, to combine their car-sharing services to compete with tech companies such as Uber and Lyft. Reuters notes that the DriveNow acquisition paves the way to completion of such a deal. BMW and Daimler’s joint business might also include charging services for electric cars, parking services, and ride sharing. BMW and Daimler are currently working with Ford Motor Co. and the Volkswagen Group on building a European network of charging stations.
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