BMW is expanding its DriveNow car share service into the US, starting in Seattle under the brand name ReachNow.
Based on the successful DriveNow model currently operating in Europe, ReachNow is starting with an initial fleet of 370 BMW and Mini vehicles with 20% of the fleet made up of i3 EVs. The service will be expanded into further cities in the US.
The move is in line with the company's strategy NUMBER ONE NEXT as outlined by management board chairman Harald Krüger three weeks ago. The strategy states that the development of customer-oriented mobility services will be one of the company's central business fields in the future.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, board member responsible for Mini, BMW Motorrad, Rolls-Royce, after sales and mobility services, said: "We are currently witnessing an extremely exciting period in the development of the automotive industry. Our customers rightly expect uncomplicated and fast solutions to their individual mobility needs, especially in metropolitan regions.
"This is why we are supplementing our classic business model with additional services that make life on the road easier for people in big cities. I am pleased that with the establishment of the ReachNow brand, we are able to offer our customers in Seattle on-demand mobility – mobility when it's needed, from one single source. With this service, we are building up on Drive Now, our extremely successful European business model, and bringing it up to a new level in the US. Seattle is an innovative, internationally-oriented city which makes it the perfect location to launch these services." ReachNow customers in the USA will be able to book the first new services in 2016:
DriveNow, the joint car sharing venture between the BMW Group and Sixt SE, offers BMW and Mini brand vehicles for rental in European cities according to the free-floating principle.
The vehicles can be rented and returned anywhere within a defined area of the city. Well over half a million registered customers can locate and reserve the vehicles via the DriveNow app or website and can use the service in any DriveNow city. DriveNow operates a fleet of more than 4,000 vehicles at locations in Munich, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, Vienna, London, Copenhagen and Stockholm. A fifth of these are electric i3s. Several scientific studies show that a DriveNow vehicle is substitution for at least three privately owned cars, meaning the service is making a contribution towards reducing traffic congestion in urban areas.