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BMW And Daimler Announce Merger (Kind Of)

Industry News / Comments

Welcome to the new era for mobility solutions.

BMW and Daimler have announced their intentions to join forces in order to drastically scale their mobility operations. The pair will form a 50-50 joint venture company that will focus on future mobility solutions. Should regulators approve the deal, the companies would work together on projects like car-sharing services, ride-hailing, and parking apps, plus electric vehicle charging. The pair hope this will help them take on technology rivals like Google's Waymo and allow them to respond faster to new urban mobility demands and changing customer wishes.

The venture would see Daimler's Car2Go and BMW's DriveNow businesses merged, along with the shared development of services and smartphone apps for ride-hailing, locating parking spots, and recharging electric cars. Already, Car2Go offers Smart Car rentals by the minute, while DriveNow's fleet is made up of Minis and BMW-branded compacts like the i3. Besides size, the merger also brings a degree of insulation for both parties as they are able to share the risk of operating in a highly volatile tech-focused sector with numerous non-traditional players queuing to join the party. The two companies promised they will remain fierce competitors in their respective core businesses.

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Harald Krüger, Chairman of BMW's Board of Management said the pair will "create a unique digital ecosystem," all while "making it easier for customers to discover the emission-free mobility of the future." Daimler boss, Dieter Zetsche, echoed the sentiment. "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."