Daimler Launches Dedicated Division for Car Sharing

It's the latest in a series of automakers to do so.

Daimler is the latest automaker to launch a separate division specifically for mobility services. The parent company of Mercedes-Benz has rechristened its Daimler Financial Services AG arm as Daimler Mobility AG. The division will be responsible for mobility services, such as Daimler’s Car2Go car-sharing service, and for managing partnerships with mobility companies such as Flixbus, Taxify, Turo, and Via.

“Renaming of Daimler Financial Services AG in Daimler Mobility AG underscores our transformation of our business division into a mobility services provider,” Klaus Enternmann, chairman of Daimler’s board of management, said in a statement. “Our mobility services are now used by 23.5 million customers. It is expected that the revenue in this market will reach a significant three-digit billion dollar volume in the next decade and beyond.”

As Daimler Financial Services AG, the division started out as the automaker’s financing arm. But it eventually grew to incorporate Car2Go and Daimler’s other mobility projects. The division will still handle financing, but will shift more of its focus to mobility services.

In March, Daimler and BMW announced plans to join forces on mobility services. However, it’s unclear what form the partnership will take and whether, for example, Car2Go and BMW’s ReachNow (called DriveNow outside the U.S.) car-sharing service will be combined into a single entity. In partnership with Bosch, Daimler will also launch a pilot shuttle service using autonomous vehicles next year. The new mobility-services division will oversee the pilot, which will operate in an unnamed California city.

Other automakers have already launched dedicated mobility divisions. GM launched Maven in 2016, focusing on car-sharing services. Volvo recently announced plans for a mobility division called M. Ford Smart Mobility is responsible for the Dearborn automaker’s mobility projects, which include everything from the Chariot shuttle service to experiments with bike sharing.