BMW Group has officially announced that they will partner up with Daimler AG and merge their urban mobility divisions. The merger will enable both these companies to form a single holding entity, where both companies will hold a 50 percent stake. They announced this back in March of 2018, but now the latest developments from the companies suggest that they want to unify their services under 5 different segments: Park Now, Charge Now, Share Now, Reach Now, and Free Now. They will do this by forming 5 joint venture companies.
Both these giant auto manufacturers plan to invest around $1.1 billion to realize their merger plans over the coming years. There are more than 60 million people who are using at least one of these urban mobility services at the moment.
Free Now is the name of a ride-hailing company, and they have Kapten, mytaxi, Beat and Clever Taxi under its umbrella. The company has operations that span over 130 cities across 17 countries. A popular e-scooter company Hive is also part of Free Now.
Mytaxi is a popular app that lets users request the services of a taxi from the phone. Mytaxi has already sent out an email to all of its customers that it will change its name to Free Now by the end of 2019.
The details are still not clear on whether the other apps will change its names, so it is likely that all the services under Free Now might not rebrand themselves overnight.
Charge Now is a network that consists of public charge points for usage of electric vehicles. The company also provides a white label service for auto manufacturers.
Park Now is a service that enables users to have parking services with its app.
Share Now is a service that is filled with all kinds of free-floating services. Both Daimler and BMW had existing services such as Car2Go and DriveNow which will merge together and come under one umbrella.
Reach Now is a service that lets users choose from a variety of transportation methods under its app. Users can check their travel itineraries and pay for the transportation services within the app.
It is very clear from the recent developments that there are a lot of moving parts involved in this deal, and many things are subject to change as more time passes by. The CEO of BMW, Harald Krüger believes that this new deal will help his company to deliver a seamless end-to-end service to its users after combining all the services under a single entity.
BMW shares a vision where all the 5 services will merge to form a single mobility service platform which can deliver an all-electric fleet of vehicles that are self-driven. These vehicles could charge and park themselves autonomously and could connect with other forms of transport, all without the help of any humans.
The revelations from this merger sound very farfetched for now, but both Daimler and BMW seem very serious about their plans. Both of these companies know that they need to expand their portfolio in order to stay competitive in the future. They will be taking on giants such as Uber with their new service, and they need to keep investing and developing their services in order to stay relevant in the industry.