During a recent German newspaper interview, BMW’s recently appointed CEO Oliver Zipse said that the company would welcome additional partners in the field of mobility. BMW and Daimler joined forces to invest in mobility services earlier this year, but whether or not the ambitious venture will bear fruit has come under scrutiny lately, after a number of negative developments occurring in the U.S. market. These include the overnight shutdown ShareNow in the Pacific Northwest, which left BMW vehicles throughout Seattle and Portland after users had completed their final journeys, and the decision for ShareNow to cease operations in five North American cities.
All of this news follows the head of the merger resigning during September, a position that is reportedly yet to be filled. The departure reportedly came after a disagreement regarding the level of investment the two German carmakers were willing put into the venture arose, the same reason cited for ShareNow being pulled from five cities.
Zipse went on to say that investment is welcome in addition to further collaboration, in an area that has, “great future potential.” At this point though, it sounds like the company would prefer the former, as the work it’s doing with Daimler, and now a few other companies, has yet to bear any real return. It’s still early, but it’s clear that automakers around the world already trying to grapple with reduced profitability as investments in electrification and autonomous driving weigh heavily on bottom lines. Nonetheless, athey must still find a way to remain relevant as society seeks to redefine mobility and transportation in a changing world.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]