Daimler Creates Subsidiary for Innovative Mobility Services
STUTTGART, Germany--Jan. 21, 2013:
- Mobility services consolidated into Daimler Mobility Services GmbH
- Revenue expected to achieve 100 million euros by 2014
- Flexible car2go carsharing service has already reached break-even in three cities
- Mobility platform moovel to be offered in additional cities in 2013
- New strategic partnership with GottaPark Inc. to develop intelligent parking solutions
As part of its plan to significantly expand the mobility services business operations, Daimler Financial Services AG has created a subsidiary known as Daimler Mobility Services GmbH. The new company's headquarters are in Stuttgart. "Especially urban customers demand new and flexible mobility solutions -- and we want to offer these services to them accordingly. We want to be the first choice provider of innovative mobility services," said Daimler Financial Services CEO Klaus Entenmann to journalists on Monday.
It is estimated that the number of carsharing customers in Europe alone could increase from roughly 700,000 today to nearly 15 million by 2020. "In view of the enormous market potential for innovative mobility services, our goal is to break the 100 million euro mark for revenue within the next 24 months," Entenmann added.
New subsidiary ensures comprehensive mobility from single source
Daimler Financial Services is responsible for the provision of mobility services within the Daimler Group. In 2011, the company assumed responsibility for managing the car2go mobility concept developed by the Group's Business Innovation department. In addition to car2go, the moovel smartphone app is another mobility service offered by Daimler Financial Services. At the beginning of 2013, car2go, moovel, and other mobility services were consolidated into the DFS subsidiary Daimler Mobility Services GmbH in order to ensure the optimal alignment and coordination of all services. "Combining programs such as car2go and moovel into one company enables us to offer customers attractive and connected mobility services from a single source," said Robert Henrich, former head of car2go and now Managing Director of Daimler Mobility Services GmbH.
car2go already profitable in three cities
In just a short time, Daimler's innovative car2go mobility concept has transformed the Group into the world's leading provider of flexible carsharing models. The concept's use of state-of-the-art technology makes it possible to rent car2go vehicles on the spur of the moment and later park them at any location within the area served by the system. The concept had already become profitable at various locations by the end of 2012, which was much sooner than expected. "We're very pleased to have reached break-even in three cities already," said Henrich.
By the end of 2011, around 60,000 customers have registered with car2go; since then this figure has risen to 275,000. The number of car2go customers is expected to exceed half a million by the end of this year. car2go is available in six cities in Germany, and has more than 100,000 customers there. That is the largest number of registered users in the country's segment for flexible carsharing services. car2go is now being offered in 18 cities around the world and will expand its service to additional cities throughout the course of this year. The number of available car2go vehicles will also increase from 6,100 to more than 10,000 by the end of 2013. car2go already employs around 250 people.
moovel will be available in additional cities
"moovel was the second mobility concept to be developed and tested by Business Innovation after car2go. Now that it has been absorbed into the new Daimler Mobility Services GmbH, the stage is set for the successful expansion of moovel," said Wilfried Steffen, Head of Business Innovation at Daimler AG. Henrich adds, "Our objective is to offer customers the best options for traveling from Point A to Point B." To this end, the mobility platform moovel, which has been tested in pilot projects in Stuttgart and Berlin since 2012, will be launched in numerous additional cities in 2013. With the smartphone app, customers can easily and conveniently compare mobility options such as car2go, taxis, ridesharing services, and local public transport in terms of various parameters, e.g. trip duration and costs. Just a few clicks is all it takes to come up with the right solution for an individual's personal mobility requirements. In the future, moovel customers will be able to find their preferred mobility option with the app and make all the necessary reservations and payments in a one-stop shopping system.
Financial investment in intelligent parking solutions specialist
Along with the expansion of car2go and moovel, Daimler Mobility Services GmbH is also working on other solutions for simplifying mobility and providing more flexible solutions. "We believe there's great potential for intelligent parking solutions in urban areas," Henrich explained. "New technologies are now available that can make parking space searches and reservations much easier. Here as well, we want to support our customers to the greatest extent possible with innovative solutions for intelligent, cross-linked mobility." As part of its effort to achieve this goal, Daimler acquired a financial interest in GottaPark Inc., which is headquartered in San Francisco, at the end of December 2012. GottaPark customers can already reserve parking spaces online from a pool of more than 300,000 parking spots in eight U.S. cities (San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Denver, Houston, Boston, Chicago, and Miami), as well as in Vancouver, Canada. Since 2007 GottaPark has been working to make parking in cities easier. Daimler's minority interest in the company also includes plans for strategic cooperation projects. An initial pilot project is scheduled to be launched in Europe in 2013.
Completely automated rentals for company fleets as well
"We want to expand the car2go concept for fully automated rentals to include the commercial fleet management sector," said Henrich. Carsharing for company vehicle fleets helps both the respective firms and their employees because it increases fleet capacity utilization and enables employees to also privately use available cars from the pool at a relatively low cost in the evening or on weekends. A respective pilot project will be launched this year.
Broad range of holdings and partnerships
Daimler also has a stake in various other mobility service providers besides those mentioned above. For example, the Group has a financial interest in the company that provides the myTaxi smartphone app, as well as in Carpooling, whose mitfahrgelegenheit portal in Germany is the market leader in the ridesharing segment. In addition, Daimler has an interest in tiramizoo - a platform for urban courier services. Within the framework of car2go, the Group also cooperates with the rental company Europcar, local governments, and numerous public transport companies.