BMW has acquired all DriveNow stakes of Sixt for 209 million euros and so the carsharing service becomes a wholly-owned BMW subsidiary. The deal fuels recent rumours of BMW wanting to merge DriveNow with Mercedes’ Car2Go.
Today’s signing of the take over is subject to approval by antitrust authorities. However, with BMW now owning DriveNow alone, the way is free for a merger with Daimler’s Car2Go.
The idea of such a large car sharing service had first come about last year and talks allegedly resumed and could result in shared technology or even a joint venture as soon as this February (we reported).
Sixt had been blamed for opposing the deal previously but said back then that the delay was down to another problem. Daimler had accused itself and fellow carmakers of collusion before EU anti-trust authorities at the time. BMW reacted by cutting all ties, at least publicly but it appears that all is good and well again in Autoland.
In a statement regarding the new deal with Sixt, BMW called the move to fully own DriveNow “the next logical step” in its strategy for “on-demand mobility,” following the acquisition of Parkmobile in early January 2018 (we reported).
“Sixt will remain a strong partner for us in the future,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG. The executive set a target to “win 100 million customers for our premium mobility services by 2025. With DriveNow as a wholly-owned subsidiary, we have all options for continued strategic development of our services in our hands.”
Independently of the acquisition of the Sixt stake in DriveNow, BMW and Sixt will continue their long-standing partnership through delivery of BMW and MINI vehicles for the Sixt fleet.
DriveNow was founded in 2011 as a car-sharing joint venture between the BMW Group and Sixt SE. The service has about one million customers in 13 European cities. The fleet comprises more than 6,000 BMW and MINI vehicles and the electric BMW i3 is also available to users at all DriveNow locations.
DriveNow Managing Director Sebastian Hofelich added some data and said “customers drove over eight million kilometres” with the electric cars of the fleet worldwide.