The world’s biggest premium automaker is seeking to expand a car-sharing program it developed to as many as 25 cities within Europe and the US.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, the board member responsible for the program said that the company is looking into the possibility of adding 10 to 15 cities in Europe and another 10 locations in the US – expanding its DriveNow short-term rental program.
“It offers very good opportunities for us to attract new customers,” Schwarzenbauer said in an interview.
The DriveNow car-sharing rental business has around 240,000 users at the moment and uses BMW 1 Series and Mini models for its fleet. The program is operated in cooperation with Germany’s rental company Sixt SE in cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Dusseldorf and San Francisco.
The biggest competitor to BMW’s DriveNow is Mercedes-Benz’s similar program Car2Go, which uses cars from the Smart brand. The Mercedes service also announced its expansion plans, with Car2Go soon to be available in Rome on a 300 cars fleet.
Both premium automakers hope such car-rental programs, which allow for by the minute vehicle rental and point-to point destinations would spur customers later to choose the brand when they consider buying a new vehicle.