BMW’s Mini brand plans to offer to its owners a feature through which they could rent their cars to earn extra cash.
Automakers are continuously looking for various ways to offer innovative mobility services, as there are many consumers showing interest in alternatives to owning a car. Mini came up with an idea to offer their customers the option of earning some extra cash when their cars are not in usage by the owners. Namely, BMW’s brand soon plans to make its new cars available with some rental-devices that offer payment features and tracking systems so that the renter does not vanish with the owner’s vehicle, Bloomberg reports. “It’s going to be kind of like Airbnb on wheels,” Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW board member in charge of Mini, said in an interview at the Beijing motor show. “There’ll be those who say, ‘Never, ever will I lend my car to strangers.’ Then there’ll be others who’ll love the idea of halving their leasing rate.”
Mini evidently will start some trials to test the idea and if it proves to be a good one, the service will be later extended to the BMW models as well. As the technology behind the device is easy to be fitted in any cars, Schwarzenbauer said the rental-feature would be available at “no significant cost” to the owner. Part of the automaker’s mobility push, BMW launched earlier this month a car sharing service in the United States, a programme based on the firm’s similar service currently operating in Europe under the name “DriveNow”.