Mobility Company Capital Destruction. Latest German JV Attempts to Lessen Negative Effects on Shareholder Value

AutoInformed.com on BMW Vision iNEXT

The series-produced version of the BMW iNEXT will assume the role of technology flagship. Assembly at Dingolfing is slated to begin in 2021. Just bring money – lots of it.

The BMW Group and Daimler AG are taking next steps for their joint mobility company, following approval by the U.S. competition authorities. Just before the ongoing government shutdown. This means that now all antitrust regulatory entities involved have said OK for the new joint venture, which is owned in equal parts by the BMW Group and Daimler AG. (Read AutoInformed.com on BMW Has Claim on Leading Electrification. iNEXT Debuts in LA and Mercedes ‘EQ Ready’ App Picks EV or Hybrid for You)

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.

AutoInformed.com on Chinese stake in Daimler

If you thought Dick Tracy’s wrist radio was high tech, then ride on demand – if it happens in large numbers – will change the urban streetscape. The large, open question remains for better or worse?

The joint venture claims it will focus on <marketing babble alert> “ensuring the personal freedom of customers in the field of urban mobility. Geared towards this vision of future urban mobility, a new mobility offering will be created that is easy to access, intuitive and focused on the needs of the user. On their urban journey, customers will move through a seamlessly connected and sustainable ecosystem that combines CarSharing, Ride-Hailing, Parking, Charging and Multimodality from a single source and is available with just a few taps. The idea is to create the most attractive, most comprehensive mobility solution for a better life in our connected world.”

If You Build It, Will They Come?

Once this major Benz-Bimmer transaction closes, the new mobility company will present next steps during Q1 of 2019, in conjunction with the BMW Group and Daimler AG. The following activities and services are part of the field of dreams:

1. Multimodal and on-demand mobility with moovel and ReachNow:
More than six million users “will benefit” from intelligent connectivity between different mobility offerings, such as carsharing, bike rental, taxis and public transport, including booking and payment. The multimodal platform will also offer possible solutions for the needs of urban private transport, including providing cars as a service.

2. CarSharing with Car2Go and DriveNow:
Car2Go and DriveNow operate 20,000 vehicles in 30 major international cities. Carsharing enables better use of vehicles and helps reduce the total number of vehicles in cities. (This is pure theory. It could increase the number of vehicles on the road as the Uber and Lyft experience has shown in U.S. urban areas) More than four million customers already use these carsharing services.

3. Ride-Hailing with mytaxi, Chauffeur Privé, Clever Taxi and Beat:
A total of 15.9 million customers and ~250,000 drivers use the services of mytaxi, Chauffeur Privé, Clever Taxi (all in Europe) and Beat (South America). This makes Intelligent Apps GmbH one of the leading ride-hailing providers in Europe and South America. Innovative offers such as mytaximatch, which allows people who do not know each other to share a taxi at the tap of a finger, could also contribute to reducing inner-city traffic.

4. Parking with ParkNow and Parkmobile Group/Parkmobile LLC:
Ticketless, cashless on-street parking or help reserving and paying for off-street parking in a garage: Parkmobile already reaches a total of more than 27 million customers in Europe and North America and offers digital parking in more than 1,100 cities. Digital parking services reduce the time and amount of driving involved in finding a parking space. This in theory reduces traffic significantly, as cars searching for parking spaces currently account for around 30% of road traffic. It could also open the road for more traffic.

5. Charging with ChargeNow and Digital Charging Solutions:
Easy access (location, charging and payment) to the world’s largest network of public charging stations. Combined with parking privileges in cities, this will support the expansion of electromobility, by helping people integrate this drive technology more easily into their mobility needs.

BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. It also provides financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2017, the BMW Group sold more than 2,463,500 passenger vehicles and more than 164,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2017 was €10.655 billion on revenues amounting to €98.678 billion. As of 31 December 2017, the BMW Group had a workforce of 129,932 employees.

Daimler

Daimler AG is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides financing, leasing, fleet management, insurance, financial investments, credit cards, and innovative mobility services. The company’s founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886.

The Group’s current focus is claimed to be on innovative and green technologies as well as on safe and superior automobiles. Daimler consequently invests in the development of efficient drive trains with the long-term goal of locally emission-free driving: from high-tech combustion engines about hybrid vehicles to electric drive trains powered by battery or fuel cell.

The company is working towards intelligent connectivity of its vehicles, autonomous driving and new mobility concepts. Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all the countries of the world and has production facilities in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa.

Its current brand portfolio includes, in addition to the world’s most valuable premium automotive brand, Mercedes-Benz (Source: Interbrand-Study, 10/4/2018), as well as Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Maybach and Mercedes me, the brands smart, EQ, Freightliner, Western Star, BharatBenz, FUSO, Setra and Thomas Built Buses, and Daimler Financial Services’ brands: Mercedes-Benz Bank, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Daimler Truck Financial, moovel, car2go and mytaxi.

The company is listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt and Stuttgart (stock exchange symbol DAI). With application of IFRS 15 and IFRS 9 in financial year 2017, Group revenue would have amounted to €164.2 billion and Group EBIT would have amounted to €14.3 billion. Before application of IFRS 15 and 9, Group revenue in 2017 amounted to €164.3 billion and Group EBIT amounted to €14.7 billion, as previously reported.

About Kenneth 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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