Daimler and BMW are rumoured to be in talks to combine their car sharing services Car2Go and DriveNow, the chief executive of car rental company and DriveNow partner Sixt hinted to the Reuters news service.

The two carmakers are said to have discussed pooling their car sharing businesses to better compete against ride hailing companies like Uber and Lyft which have started offering pay per use mobility services which are more convenient than car ownership.

Asked whether Sixt was involved in merger talks with Daimler and BMW, chief executive Erich Sixt told Reuters: "At the last press conference I made clear that we are not involved. Today I can only say no comment. This is of course a slightly different statement from the last one. Why things are dragging on is not down to us."

In May Sixt, which has a 50% stake in DriveNow, said it was not involved in any merger talks. BMW said it is "in constant talks" with partners and is evaluating strategic options.

Reuters noted that demand for car sharing services has grown in a number of major cities including London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Milan and Helsinki, where customers can use free parking, a major cost and convenience factor. The market for ride hailing services currently makes up around 33% of the global taxi market.

Sixt said its DriveNow business had grown its customer base from 815,000 people at the end of 2016, to 950,000 at the end of June. As of August 2017, Car2Go had 2.7m members who have access to 13,900 vehicles in eight countries in North America and Western Europe and in China