Stellantis will buy the Share Now car-sharing joint venture from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, incorporating it into Stellantis’ own Free2Move service. The companies didn’t disclose a selling price, but Bloomberg reported that it could have been around $260 million.
Share Now was formed by BMW and Mercedes in 2019 from car-sharing services the two German automakers started independently. The proposed purchase agreement would add 14 European cities and 10,000 vehicles to Free2Move’s existing 2,500-vehicle fleet, according to a Stellantis press release.
Jeep Renegade – Stellantis Free2Move car-sharing
Free2Move currently operates in the United States cities of Denver, Austin, Columbus, Portland, and Washington, D.C. But the Share Now acquisition won’t expand its U.S. footprint, as BMW and Mercedes pulled their car-sharing services from this market years ago.
The U.S. has proven to be a particularly tough environment for automaker car-sharing services. Free2Move has been moving into a space vacated not only by BMW and Mercedes, but also General Motors.
Run by Mercedes parent company Daimler, Car2Go started as something more city- and community-focused, but in a series of moves aimed at shoring up the business it cut out diverse communities that could have benefited the most from car-sharing.
Citroen Ami to join Free2Move fleet in United States
Meanwhile, BMW used Reach Now as a pedestal for promoting its i3—then the parent company mixed in more gasoline models, which blurred the service’s reason for being.
GM shut down its Maven service abruptly in 2020. It had been established in 2017 for alternative mobility models, outside the franchised-dealership norm. In addition to car sharing, its services included rentals for food-delivery and ride-sharing drivers in the so-called “Gig Economy.”
Free2Move has dabbled with a somewhat different model, in offering fun, fringe vehicles from the Stellantis global portfolio—like smaller Jeeps, and the cute Citroën Ami EV.