Car2go Europe aims to launch its easy car-sharing service in some 40 to 50 European cities in the near future, and is set to announce shortly its entry into its fifth European city. Any guesses? Car2go is currently available in the German cities of Ulm and Hamburg and will soon launch in Amsterdam, Netherlands and Lyon, France.
Daimler says the early 2012 launch of Car2go in the French city of Lyon will officially be the first car-sharing program under Car2go Europe GmbH. Other existing European Car2go operations, excluding the long-term trial fleet in Ulm, will be integrated into the joint venture. Daimler has not disclosed any additional info on the European cities selected to get Car2go in the future but there are a handful of North American cities where the service is also available.
New Joint-venture to launch car2go in European Cities
Five European cities served before year-end
Company will be located in Stuttgart with a car2go majority stake
Ulm/Guyancourt – car2go GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, together with Europcar, the leader in car rental services in Europe, will create a new joint-venture to accelerate and extend their innovative partnership Europe-wide. The new company is called "car2go Europe GmbH" and will enable the two partners to bring the unique car2go mobility service to millions of drivers throughout Europe. Daimler's car2go GmbH will be the majority shareholder in this new company.
"Similar to the initial car2go Hamburg joint-venture, founded last October, the new company is built around a balanced cooperation between the same two strong partners," said Robert Henrich, CEO of car2go GmbH. "car2go Europe will be able to swiftly launch large-scale rollouts and strengthen our first mover advantage as the world's first free-floating, one-way carsharing service."
Headquartered in Stuttgart, car2go Europe GmbH will be a limited liability company owned 75% by car2go GmbH of Ulm, Germany and 25% by Europcar of Guyancourt, France. Branches and subsidiaries of car2go Europe GmbH will be established throughout Europe as operating companies.
car2go Europe plans to rollout car2go services in 40 to 50 European cities, and will announce shortly the fifth European city to be launched by year end. The resources benefiting the new company include access to car2go technology and know-how, the "car2go" and "Europcar" brands, Daimler's vehicle-related services and Europcar's car rental know-how and infrastructure.
The launch of car2go in the French city of Lyon early 2012 will be the first under the responsibility of car2go Europe GmbH. Existing European car2go operations, including those in Hamburg, will be integrated into the new company, with the exception of those in Ulm, which will continue to serve as a long-term test location.
The partnership offers both partners far-reaching advantages: car2go can benefit from Europcar's vast expertise in terms of fleet management and logistics as well as using its partner's extensive network of branches to offer customers further places to register for the scheme alongside its own car2go shop.
The CEO of Europcar Groupe, Philippe Guillemot, commented: "car2go sees us expanding our range of mobility services to include a highly innovative element. Europcar has been offering individual-mobility solutions for more than eighty years and has always anticipated changes in mobility behaviour at an early stage. Now, together with Daimler, we are providing innovative urban mobility solutions to serve current and future needs and reach new categories of customers. The partnership generates synergies for both partners and offers a wide choice of mobility options for practically any occasion."
The innovative mobility concept car2go was developed by Daimler AG in 2008. Today, with a total of more than 45,000 members and 1,100 vehicles worldwide, car2go has proven success in four cities: Ulm and Hamburg in Germany, the Texan capital Austin in the US and Vancouver in Canada. Three other cities are announced yet: Lyon (France), Amsterdam (Netherlands) and San Diego (USA). In Amsterdam and San Diego car2go will start operations before the end of 2011 with full-electric fleets of 300 car2go smart fortwo electric drive vehicles in each city. Since the first launch in the southern German city of Ulm in March 2009, more than 900,000 trips have been made and approximately 9 million kilometres have been covered.