BMW is looking to shake things up — and it may be looking to take on the likes of Uber and ZipCar.
A new project from BMW called ReachNow would be the company’s first leap into the car-sharing industry, one that has so far been limited to companies like ZipCar and Car2Go. The company will roll out this effort in Seattle, and could expand to other cities in relatively short order if all goes well.
But it’s not just other car-sharing companies that it’s taking on. It might also be looking to steal customers from Uber, who also depend on the service for short trips — Uber simply allows customers to complete that job in a different way.
BMW ran the DriveNow program in Europe, and it’s fairly similar to ReachNow. BMW even tried to run a DriveNow project in San Francisco, but problems finding parking space derailed the program.
“We are currently witnessing an extremely exciting period in the development of the automotive industry,” Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG and responsible for MINI, BMW Motorrad, Rolls-Royce, After Sales and Mobility Services, said in the statement. “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 USA. Seattle is an innovative, internationally-oriented city which makes it the perfect location to launch these services.”