Mercedes-Benz and BMW sell JV SHARE NOW to Stellantis

Mercedes-Benz Mobility and the BMW Group intend to sell their car-sharing joint venture SHARE NOW to Stellantis. The three companies recently signed an agreement to this effect and agreed not to disclose details of the deal. It is also subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities.

Founded in 2019 SHARE NOW combines the DNA of the car2go, developed by former Daimler AG, and DriveNow, the BMW Group’s offering. Together, both shareholders have developed SHARE NOW into the market leader in Europe and have continued to develop it, including new offerings such as long-term car sharing.

With the acquisition of SHARE NOW, Mobility subsidiary Free2move will have the opportunity to further expand its car-sharing efforts in Europe. This proposed agreement would add 14 major European cities and 10,000 vehicles to Free2move’s existing car-sharing fleet of 2,500 vehicles. Free2move also recently announced its acquisition of Opel Rent, accelerating its growth strategy in Germany and Austria and driving the shift from rental to mobility provider.

Meanwhile, it has accelerated its car-sharing expansion in the United States, with the service now available in Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon, Denver, Colorado, Columbus, Ohio, Austin and Texas. Free2move also operates a car sharing service in Europe (Paris and Madrid).

The sale of the car-sharing subsidiary contributes to the reorganization of the mobility joint venture: In the future, the shareholders intend to focus on two central business areas with high growth potential: digital multi-mobility (free now) and digital services related to electric vehicle charging (charge now).

We are proud to establish our drone car sharing division with car2go. Although Mercedes-Benz will focus more aggressively on its core luxury car business, car sharing will continue to be an important part of urban mobility and a core component of its free mobility offering now. With Free Now and Charge Now, we are focused on two growth segments that will continue to provide our customers with a full range of mobility services into the future and support the expansion of electric mobility.

—Gero Götzenberger, Director of Strategy and Investments at Mercedes-Benz Mobility

Mobility joint ventures have been a pioneer in Europe – FREE NOW and CHARGE NOW have built a software platform for as many players as possible in their respective sectors. With the FREE NOW and CHARGE NOW apps, we want to provide our customers with a comprehensive and wide range of digital services. The new direction allows us to expand our activities faster and thus achieve more profitable growth in the shortest possible time.

—Rainer Feurer, Head of Corporate Investments, BMW Group

FREE NOW is a leader in multimodal mobility with its Digital Mobility as a Service platform. The company provides access to nearly 180,000 vehicles in more than 150 cities in the FREE NOW app through its network of partners. With one click users can access the largest selection of vehicles in Europe, from e-scooters to e-bikes, e-scooters and car sharing to taxis and chauffeured vehicles. Thus, FREE NOW app fulfills the growing desire of customers to be able to freely choose the best way from A to B through the navigation app. The increased integration of public transportation and the implementation of the mobility budget last year shows the targeted growth perspective of the application of multimodal mobility.

In 2021, Free NOW recorded strong growth figures in the multimedia sector – such as e-scooters, e-bikes, e-scooters and car sharing – and managed to nearly triple the number of transactions compared to the previous year despite the pandemic. This year, FREE NOW is expanding its multiple ride offerings – also in the car-sharing business: SIXT share, Miles and SHARE NOW vehicles can be booked via the app.

A total of ten new mobility partners will be integrated on the platform in 2022, providing more mobility options for the current 56.8 million users. In the first quarter of 2022, Free NOW transactions grew by a total of 31.4% compared to the same quarter of the previous year, which indicates a strong growth trend.

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