BMW, Mercedes-Benz challenge Uber, Lyft with new $1.1B investment

Rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler will invest over $1.1 billion in a  joint mobility venture to challenge firms like Uber and Lyft, the German carmakers announced on Friday.

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The partnership comes after the two foreign companies said in March they would align their operations in a bid to compete against the growing dominance of tech firms in the ride-sharing sector.

“We will be able to shape current and future urban mobility and draw maximum benefit from the opportunities opened up by digitalization, shared services and the increasing mobility needs of our customers. Further cooperations with other providers, including stakes in startups and established players, are also a possible option,” Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler’s board of management, said in a statement.

Among the five new joint ventures the BMW and Daimler plan to partner on is a mobile app to allow users to map out a route and pay ahead of time for public transportation, car-sharing and other mobility options. They also plan to expand a service currently available in 31 cities to allow customers to rent and pay for car-sharing services, as well as a separate program that lets individuals reserve parking.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DMLRYDAIMLER AG12.8-0.90-6.57%
BMWYYBMW AG22.52-1.54-6.40%

Another offering, known as Free Now, allows users to rent taxis and e-scooters, while its Charge Now service makes drivers aware of nearby charging station.

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“We have a clear vision: 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 and interconnect with the other modes of transport,” said BMW Management Board Chairman Harald Krüger.