BMW and Daimler announce joint venture

BMW and Daimler have announced they will invest £880m in a joint venture that will develop services such as driverless vehicles, ride-hailing, and pay-per-use cars.

Daimler’s Car2Go car-sharing brand will be combined with BMW’s DriveNow, ParkNow and ChargeNow businesses, with both carmakers holding a 50% stake in the venture.

Up to a 1,000 new jobs will be initially created.

The two German firms will consider buying tech start-ups to acquire the expertise necessary to make their ambitions reality.

Daimler’s chief executive Dieter Zetsche said, ‘Further co-operation with other providers, including stakes in start-ups and established players, are also a possible option.’

The new joint venture has five elements: Reach Now, a smartphone-based route management and booking service; Charge Now, expanding electric car charging; Free Now, for taxi ride-hailing; Park Now, dedicated to offering parking services; and Share Now, for car-sharing.

Harald Krüger, chairman of BMW’s management board, said, ‘These five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously,

‘The co-operation is the perfect way for us to maximize our chances in a growing market, while sharing the investments.’