BMW’s Car-Sharing Partner Rules Out Merger With Daimler Unit

  • Daimler, BMW in car-sharing merger talks to fight Uber: report
  • Sixt SE owns half of BMW’s DriveNow car-sharing service

Sixt SE, which co-owns the DriveNow car-sharing venture with BMW AG, said it would oppose any plans to merge the unit with Daimler AG’s Car2Go.

Daimler and BMW are in advanced negotiations to combine their car-sharing businesses with the aim of better competing against the likes of Uber Technologies Inc., Manager Magazin reported Thursday, citing unidentified company executives. Sixt holds a 50 percent stake in BMW’s European car-sharing venture, which rents cars by the minute in cities such as Berlin, London and Milan.

“A combination of DriveNow and Car2Go is out of the question for Sixt,” Munich-based car rental company Sixt said in a statement. “Our cooperation with BMW is going extremely well.”

Automakers are pushing into so-called mobility services like car-sharing and ride-hailing to counter alternatives to private vehicle ownership. Maintaining a strong foothold in the developing field is getting tougher as more competitors enter the fold. Volkswagen AG is rolling out Moia, a new division that will focus on ride-sharing and which the German automaker expects will generate billions of euros in revenue in a few years.

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The Daimler and BMW car-sharing businesses may also be combined with other mobility services such as Daimler’s mytaxi cab-hailing app, the German magazine reported. Representatives of Daimler and BMW declined to comment.

Transport services are expected to become increasingly important, especially for inner-city consumers, and managing that shift is key. Revenue from car sharing is projected to surge more than seven-fold to 4.7 billion euros ($4.9 billion) by 2021, according to a study by Boston Consulting Group Inc. At the same time, sharing services will cut vehicle sales by 550,000 cars globally by then, sapping automaker revenue by about 7.4 billion euros, the consultancy said.

Car2Go, founded in 2008, was one of the first companies to rent cars by the minute and now has 2 million registered users in Europe and North America, while DriveNow has 750,000 customers in seven European countries.

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