But the two will still remain bitter rivals.
German luxury automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz are bitter rivals. The two brands finished neck-and-neck in sales for 2018 and this trend may continue into 2019. Even though there is no love lost between the marques, the two companies announced a partnership to develop a new era for mobility solutions. If you are still a bit confused as to what mobility is, it basically refers to alternative means of transportation such as ridesharing, renting, charging, and autonomous driving.
BMW and Mercedes' parent company Daimler announced the partnership last year and have now announced an investment of over $1.13 billion to create "sustainable urban mobility for customers." With such a massive investment, BMW and Mercedes are hoping to beat Uber at its own game.
"Our mobility services have developed a strong customer base and we are now taking the next strategic step. We are pooling the strength and expertise of 14 successful brands and investing more than 1 billion Euros to establish a new player in the fast-growing market for urban mobility," said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "Further cooperations with other providers, including stakes in startups and established players, are also a possible option."
"We are creating a leading global game changer. The 60 million customers we already have today will benefit from a seamlessly integrated, sustainable ecosystem of car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport services. We have a clear vision: these five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously and interconnect with the other modes of transport," Harald Kruger, Management Board Chairman of BMW added.
The partnership will combine Daimler's Car2Go car-sharing brand with BMW's DriveNow, ParkNow, and ChargeNow brands, with each company owning 50%. The business will be split into five joint ventures: ReachNow is a smartphone-based route management service, ChargeNow is an electric car charging service, FreeNow is a taxi ride-hailing service, ParkNow is a parking service, and ShareNow is short-term rental service. Specific cities weren't mentioned during the announcement but expect to see these services pop up in large cities across the country.