US-European carmaker Stellantis said Tuesday it had agreed to purchase Share Now, a joint venture between German giants BMW and Mercedes, advancing its aim to become a world leader in car sharing.
Stellantis said in a statement that its own car-sharing division, Free2move — which had recently acquired Opel Rent in Germany and Austria — would acquire Share Now.
The proposed agreement would improve the subsidiary’s position, adding “14 major European cities” and increasing its fleet five-fold, the statement said.
It would also “add more than 3.4 million customers to (Free2move’s) two million users,” it said.
While no financial details were published, the acquisition was likely a “bargain deal” for Stellantis, according to German car market expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer.
BMW and Mercedes’s decision to unload their joint venture came after a number of “extremely difficult years” for the service, as it struggled to establish a profitable business, Dudenhoeffer said.
With Stellantis, formed in January last year when Fiat-Chrysler and PSA merged, the focus on mass-market cars over the former partners’ premium offering, offered “a chance of survival”, he said.
The group’s car-sharing subsidiary was “a step closer to achieving our goal of expanding Free2move’s worldwide presence to 15 million active users by 2030,” said its chief executive Brigitte Courtehoux.
Free2move said it was also aiming to achieve revenues of 700 million euros ($735 million) in 2025 and then of 2.8 billion euros by 2030. (AFP)