BMW Group and Daimler Mobility Hoping to Profit on Joint Ventures. Monetizing a Monopoly or a Joint Survival Bid?

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The services offered by the joint ventures will continue to be tailored to “customer needs” and clustered into three pillars. The question is what happens to shareholders?

Following the successful launch of the Your Now joint ventures in February 2019, BMW and Daimler claim that 90 million people currently use the mobility services for car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multi-modal platforms, which are offered in more than 1,300 cities worldwide.

It’s just the latest example of the capital intensive, shareholder-value destroying transition to an ill-defined, but demonstrably expensive mobility company that all automakers are now pursuing. (Mobility Company Capital Destruction. Latest German JV Attempts to Lessen Negative Effects on Shareholder Value)

Here’s their commercial aimed at the capital markets and potential customers: “The services offered by the joint ventures will continue to be tailored to customer needs and clustered into three pillars – 1: Free Now. 2: Share Now. 3:Park Now & Charge Now. The introduction of a new umbrella organization, effective 1 January 2020, will support management of these three offerings.

Free Now (formerly mytaxi), one of Europe’s mobility providers, which includes the taxi and ride-hailing services Free Now, Beat, Kapten and electric scooter service Hive, is projecting record earnings for 2019: The annual GMV run rate (gross merchandise volume; platform revenues (Note the lack of cost and profitability numbers here.) will reach more than two billion euros – increasing the previous year’s, ahem, unstated number.

In 2019, the number of trips was up 120% from 2018. Free Now will have completed almost 300 million trips in 18 European and Latin American countries by the end of this year. More than 39 million passengers took advantage of the services provided by more than 800,000 affiliated drivers. Growth was also driven in part by the launch of Beat in Mexico City and Kapten in London, as well as expansion of the Free Now car rental service “Ride” in Germany, which allows customers to book a rental car with a licensed driver at a fixed rate.

Free Now it’s claimed will grow in 2020: Additional mobility services, such as e-scooters, electric bikes, car-sharing and public transport will also be integrated into the app, alongside its core ride-hailing business. This integration of “multimodal mobility offerings” builds on Reach Now’s pooling of several mobility services, with booking options, on a single platform (“Mobility-as-a-Service“ or MaaS).

Reach Now services are currently used by more than 7 million people in 20 cities worldwide. In the south of Germany, on-demand ride-sharing options have been expanded in conjunction with the Karlsruhe Transport Authority (KVV) in Ettlingen and the public transport company Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG (SSB) in Stuttgart. Reach Now will increasingly focus on the development of various mobility solutions, such as Mobility-as-a-Service platforms and on-demand solutions for and with cities and public transport companies.

Share Now Will Continue Integration of car2go and DriveNow 

The free-floating car-sharing provider Share Now, which is a combination of car2go and DriveNow, has registered about one million new customers since the start of the year. With the addition of Paris in January and Budapest in April, Share Now expanded its European footprint in 2019 to include two major capitals. In the future, the focus will be on cities that promise long-term “profitable” growth. A review is currently underway to determine where reorganization may be needed.

At the same time, the car-sharing business is being further developed and the successful integration of the two services continues: The Share Now app has been available since November 2019. In Vienna, the new Share Now app enables car2go and DriveNow vehicles to be reserved and rented directly for the first time, with more cities to follow. The offering will be expanded, following a successful pilot phase that tested long-term car-sharing in Milan and Hamburg. Long-term car-sharing offers the option of renting Share Now vehicles for up to 14 days.

Charge Now Is Europe’s Fastest-Growing Network

 Charge Now – it’s claimed – is Europe’s leading aggregator of charging infrastructure and therefore key for higher market penetration of electric mobility. Charge Now’s charging services provide access to 85% of the European charging network in 30 European markets. It comprises more than 130,000 charge points and contracts with around 400 charge point operators. In Germany alone, Charge Now achieves 98% market coverage. Charge Now is provided by Digital Charging Solutions GmbH, which also develops individual, tailor-made charging solutions for other automotive manufacturers and fleet operators.

Park Now Expanding in Digital Parking

Park Now lets customers use an app to search and pay for on- and off-road parking spaces. In 2019, Park Now further expanded its leadership in digital parking solutions: 36 million customers in ten EU countries and the US use the services of the Park Now Group. Park Now reached 230 million transactions with its core brand, plus Parkmobile, RingGo and Parkline, in 2019. Park Now is proving itself as a partner for modern municipalities and has been recognized with the European Parking Award for emission-based parking solutions in the UK.

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About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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1 Response to BMW Group and Daimler Mobility Hoping to Profit on Joint Ventures. Monetizing a Monopoly or a Joint Survival Bid?

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