BMW launches car-sharing service in Seattle
German luxury carmaker, BMW has announced the launch of its car-sharing service in Seattle in the United States and the company has indicated that the service will soon be launched in others parts of the country.
The automaker said that it will offer use of 370 BMW and Mini vehicles to customers in Seattle. The new service called, ReachNow will offer a range of services including short-term rental, delivery service, chauffeur service or longer-term rental services to the customers in the area. The company said that it will also cater to closed group of users such as companies or entire residential complexes. The users of the service will be able to unlock and use the cars using their smartphones.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW's board member responsible for mobility services, said, said, "Our customers rightly expect uncomplicated and fast solutions to their individual mobility needs, especially in metropolitan regions."
BMW has launched its DriveNow service in Europe in 2011. The service was rolled out in major German cities, Vienna and parts of London and now has more than 450,000 users and is a profitable venture for the company. It allows people to use cars without having to worry about fuel costs, insurance, repairs, vehicle tax and parking space.
The company is aiming to stay active and relevant in the market that is increasing moving towards vehicle sharing as most young users are increasing preferring car-sharing and ride-services offered by new companies and technology rivals such as Uber Zipcar and IGO. Industry experts believe that the market for car sharing will grow by 30 percent a year and generate revenue of between 4.2 billion to $6.3 billion by 2020.