BMW and Daimler in talks to merge their car-sharing services

Reuters is reporting that Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and BMW (BMWG.DE) may be in talks to combine their car-sharing services Car2Go and DriveNow. The parties have discussed pooling their car-sharing businesses to better compete against ride-hailing companies like Uber [UBER.UL], Lyft in US and Taxify in EU. Uber has started offering pay-per-use mobility services which is more convenient than car ownership. So the carmakers need to adapt their services in order to prepare for the new normal of car usage.

If you are a frequent traveler just like me, you have noticed that demand for car-sharing services has taken off in a number of major cities including London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Milan and Rome. The main advantage for users like me is that customers can use free parking, a major cost and convenience benefit.

Car sharing platforms are slowly but surely killing the taxi business

According to Goldman Sachs, the market for ride-hailing services currently makes up around 33% of the global taxi market, and could grow eight times to $285 billion by 2030, once autonomous robotaxis are in operation. At the same time, DriveNow business had grown its customer base from 815,000 people at the end of 2016, to 950,000 just 6 months later. As of August 2017, Car2Go had 2.7 million members, who have access to 13,900 vehicles in eight countries in North America and Western Europe and in China.

Lucian Vinatoriu.