German automakers Daimler and BMW could be in talks to integrate their car-sharing services Car2Go and DriveNow, the CEO of automobile rental company and DriveNow partner Sixt hinted.
Daimler and BMW have talked about pooling their car-sharing services to better contend against ride-hailing business like Uber and Lyft which have begun providing pay-per-use mobility services which are easier than vehicle ownership.
Asked whether Sixt was associated with merger talks with Daimler and BMW, CEO Erich Sixt informed: “At the last press conference I made clear that we are not involved. Today I can just state ‘no comment’. This is obviously a somewhat different statement from the last one. Why things are dragging on is not down to us.”
In May Sixt stated it was not associated with any merger talks, but added that its 50 percent DriveNow stake had been valued at about 480 million euros ($564 million).
Asked if BMW was speaking about combining its vehicle- sharing business with Daimler’s, a spokeswoman for BMW said, “We are in constant talks with our partners and are obviously evaluating the strategic options for our activities and stakes.”
Demand for car-sharing services has taken off in numerous cities including London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Milan and Helsinki, where consumers can use totally free parking, a significant expense and convenience factor.
Over a 3rd of customers who attempted BMW’s DriveNow car-sharing organisation in London sold their own car and only 20 percent were identified to keep their privately owned vehicles.