BMW and Daimler AG join forces to combine their car-sharing businesses and fend off competition from tech giants like Uber
Isn’t competition great? How else can two rivals come together and beat the competition, if not by joining forces? That’s exactly what BMW and Daimler did. Now, the luxury-car makers are setting aside their rivalry and merge together to fend off competition from tech giants like Uber in the United States and Didi Chuxing in China. Facing technology threat, the two luxury-car makers have reached an agreement to merge their mobility service businesses. In a joint press release, the two companies said they are joining forces to offer customers a single source for sustainable urban mobility services. There were rumors back in late January and early February that both companies were combining their car-sharing services.
Both companies today signed an agreement to merge their mobility services business units. Subject to examination and approval by the responsible competition authorities, the BMW Group and Daimler AG plan to combine and strategically expand their existing on-demand mobility offering in the areas of Car-Sharing, Ride-Hailing, Parking, Charging and Multimodality. Each company will hold a 50-percent stake in a joint-venture model comprising both companies’ mobility services. The two companies also said they would remain competitors in their respective core businesses. Two is better than one. The goal of the deal is to make the combined venture a leading provider of innovative mobility services. Both automotive manufacturers aim to shape the mobility of the future to be able to offer their customers unique experiences and support their partners, such as cities and communes, in achieving sustainable urban mobility.
“The BMW Group is shaping future mobility – and striking out in new directions to do so. Our Strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT provides the BMW Group with a roadmap to a digital and emission-free future,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “Combining our mobility services as planned will create a unique digital ecosystem. This alliance will make it easier for our customers to discover the emission-free mobility of the future. We remain competitors when it comes to the best premium vehicles. The planned merger of our mobility services will pool our resources and sends a strong signal to our new competitors,” added Krüger.
“As pioneers in automotive engineering, we will not leave the task of shaping future urban mobility to others. There will be more people than ever before without a car who will still want to be extremely mobile. We want to combine our expertise and experience to develop a unique, sustainable ecosystem for urban mobility,” said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “At Daimler, we are vigorously and systematically pursuing our transformation from automobile manufacturer to provider of mobility services with our CASE strategy. CASE stands for connectivity, automated driving, sharing & services and electric mobility.”
“The future of mobility lies in cities: The key to more liveable cities is in intelligent and seamless services that are easy to use and combine sustainable modes of transport and mobility services,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad, Customer Engagement and Digital Business Innovation BMW Group. “The pioneering work and commitment of the employees who provide our services have laid a valuable foundation. I would like to thank them very much indeed for all that they have done,” Schwarzenbauer continued.
“The sustainable mobility of tomorrow is flexible and connected – a vision we share with our partner, the BMW Group,” explained Bodo Uebber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Finance & Controlling and Daimler Financial Services. “Together, we can offer millions of customers highly-attractive products and services to make their lives easier and their environment a better place to live. The options offered by the planned joint venture-concept will complement mobility services offered by cities.”