Sixt CEO hints at
car-sharing merger talks between BMW and Daimler
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[August 17, 2017]
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German
carmakers Daimler and BMW may be in talks to combine their car-sharing
services Car2Go and DriveNow, the chief executive of car rental company
and DriveNow partner Sixt hinted on Thursday.
Daimler and BMW have discussed pooling their car-sharing businesses to
better compete against ride-hailing companies like Uber [UBER.UL] and
Lyft which have started offering pay-per-use mobility services which are
more convenient than car ownership.
Asked whether Sixt was involved in merger talks with Daimler and BMW,
Chief Executive Erich Sixt said: "At the last press conference I made
clear that we are not involved. Today I can only say 'no comment'. This
is of course a slightly different statement from the last one. Why
things are dragging on is not down to us."
In May Sixt had said it was not involved in any merger talks, but added
that its 50 percent DriveNow stake had been valued at around 480 million
euros ($560 million).
Car2Go declined to comment. No one at DriveNow was immediately available
Demand for car-sharing services has taken off in a number of major
cities including London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Milan and Helsinki, where
customers can use free parking, a major cost and convenience factor.
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The logo of German car sharing firm Car2Go is pictured in Cologne,
Germany, April 28, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
More than a third of clients who tried BMW's DriveNow car-sharing business in
London sold their own car and only 20 percent were determined to keep their
privately owned vehicles.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler are now working on developing autonomous
cars, vehicles which could enable them to upend the market for taxi and
The market for ride-hailing services currently makes up around 33 percent of the
global taxi market, and could grow eightfold to $285 billion by 2030, once
autonomous robotaxis are in operation, Goldman Sachs said.
Sixt said its DriveNow business had grown its customer base from 815,000 people
at the end of 2016, to 950,000 at the end of June. As of August 2017, Car2Go had
2.7 million members, who have access to 13,900 vehicles in eight countries in
North America and Western Europe and in China.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Greg Mahlich)
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