Daimler and the BMW Group on Wednesday announced they are joining forces in mobility services, the most popular of which today are ride-hailing and car-sharing services.
The two automakers have signed an agreement to establish a joint-venture entity that will roll their various mobility services, such as Daimler's Car2Go and the BMW Group's DriveNow, into the one business, potentially making the services more attractive to investors. The joint-venture company will also oversee all future mobility services to be developed, like a self-driving taxi service.
The goal is to enable Daimler and the BMW Group to become a leading provider of mobility services and to better weather strong competition from rival automakers as well as players outside the auto industry, namely Silicon Valley (Waymo says it will commercialize a self-driving taxi service as early as this year). By working together, the two automakers can also more rapidly expand their services globally.
“The planned merger of our mobility services will pool our resources and sends a strong signal to our new competitors,” BMW Group CEO Harald Krüger said.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche backed this up with the comment, “as pioneers in automotive engineering, we will not leave the task of shaping future urban mobility to others.”
The list of mobility services is constantly growing. Additional examples include location services for parking spots, electric car chargers, and car-pooling options. There are also numerous digital services that could be offered.
Mobility services represent potentially huge dollars, especially if self-driving technology pans out. It also provides an opportunity for automakers to tap customers who may not desire owning a car.