German automaker Daimler has consolidated its ownership of Car2Go for $85 million to purchase the remaining 25 percent that it did not already own. The purchase would place the value of Car2Go at $341 million. Like all major automakers, Daimler's investment into Car2Go is no surprise as the rise of car-sharing and ride-hailing apps has forced the status quo of car ownership change. The trend of decreasing desire of car ownership has automakers position themselves and invest into new transportation services within in the next generation.
Europcar, the rental car company selling the stake, has announced they will be using the proceeds to deepen their holdings and investments into new mobility services. They said they plan to invest between $185 million and $310 million between now and 2020 to buy or invest in a business that it can fully own rather than operate in a joint venture with another party. Europcar currently has Ubeeqo, BlueMove and Brunel within those parameters. Caroline Parot, Europcar CEO said in a statement, "we want to thank the Daimler Group for our longstanding partnership since 2012 within car2go Europe." She continues "this investment has taught us a great deal about car sharing and the acquired knowledge will be most valuable to us." Car2Go is a car-sharing company and was originally founded in Germany. The company entered a joint venture partnership with Europcar in 2011. The Daimler Group was involved shortly after. Currently the company boasts around 1 million users in North America alone and 3 million world wide.
Many experts have speculated Daimler has plans to merge Car2Go with DriveNow, a similar business from BMW. Consolidating Daimler's ownership in Car2Go would allow for a swift merger and transition towards doing that. Daimler itself has recently picked up a new majority shareholder itself early this week. Geely, a Chinese company, which also has majority shareholder of Volvo, continues their trend of acquisition and investments these last few years. As automakers continue to hedge their bets in all sorts of different new transportation services, Daimler has been investing in everything and anything that can move. "Over the course of the last several months, we have intensified our investments in mobility services in order to create a holistic mobility system with a broad portfolio. As part of this strategy, we deicded to fully acquire the remaining shares in car2go Europe." Jörg Lamparter, Daimler's Head of Mobility services stated.