Daimler’s car sharing unit to leave Great Britain image

Citing difficulties to gain traction in the UK and calling London a tremendous challenge, Daimler decided to retire from the country its car-sharing business car2go, developed and run in partnership with rental firm Europcar.

The change is effective from the month’s end, after the car2go business became active in the UK in London since December 2012 and was also introduced in Birmingham during 2013.

“We’ve listened closely to customer feedback and taking the UK’s strong culture and tradition of private vehicle ownership into account, we have decided to withdraw from the UK market place,” the company said. “The unique challenges we encountered were more significant than expected.”

According to a company spokesman, which also cited bureaucratic challenges to coordinate the 32 separate authorities across different boroughs in London, the car2go had less then the 10,000 subscriber base – which equaled to a five to eight daily bookings – needed to become economically viable in Great Britain as well.

By comparison, the global car2go unit is present today in 25 cities and has a 750,000 base of registered users, with successful stints in places like Rome and Milan – with close to 110,000 users; or Germany, where it’s present in seven cities and has around 70,000 clients.

Via Reuters