BMW Group and Daimler AG join forces, investing over €1bn to enter the car-sharing market
It has been announced that BMW Group and Daimler AG are pooling their mobility services to create a new global player providing sustainable urban mobility.
Investing over are investing more than €1bn to combine their key strengths in the delivery of car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport, the cooperation comprises five joint ventures:
- REACH NOW – offers more than 6.7 million users simple, direct access to a range of mobility services through a single multimodal platform. Apps will offer a range of options for getting from A to B, allowing users to book and pay directly for public transport and various other mobility options, such as car-sharing, ride-hailing and bike rentals
- CHARGE NOW - for charging - its comprehensive charging network is a key contributor to zero-emissions driving. It makes public charge points quick and easy to locate, use and pay for, both at home and abroad. With over 100,000 charge points across 25 countries, its white-label solutions are helping OEMs and fleet operators to realise their strategies for electric mobility. Customers benefit from cross-border access to one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing charging networks, with over 250 charge point operators (CPOs) to date
- FREE NOW - for taxi ride-hailing - offers a variety of mobility services including taxis, private chauffeurs with rental vehicles, and state-of-the-art e-scooters. FREE NOW already serves more than 21mn customers and over 250,000 drivers
- PARK NOW - for parking - offers users the best possible parking solutions at a glance, allows users to reserve parking slots and manage their parking times, and enables ticketless entry and exit in public garages as well as cashless payment of parking fees. In addition, with the search for parking currently accounting for about 30% of the traffic on urban roads, PARK NOW is helping towns and cities to reduce traffic volumes, thereby helping to make city centres cleaner, healthier and more liveable
- SHARE NOW - for car-sharing - allows customers to rent and pay for vehicles by smartphone — anytime, anywhere. More than 4mn customers use the fleet’s 20,000 vehicles in 31 cities worldwide.
- Exploiting Big Data and analytics to improve productivity in manufacturing
- Honda announces its global automobile manufacturing restructure
- Collaboration is key for Europe's advanced manufacturing and technology (AMT) companies
- Read the latest issue of Manufacturing Global here
“Our mobility services have developed a strong customer base and we are now taking the next strategic step. We are pooling the strength and expertise of 14 successful brands and investing more than €1bn to establish a new player in the fast-growing market for urban mobility,” affirmed Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
“By creating an intelligent network of joint ventures, we will be able to shape current and future urban mobility and draw maximum benefit from the opportunities opened up by digitalisation, shared services and the increasing mobility needs of our customers. Further cooperations with other providers, including stakes in startups and established players, are also a possible option.”
“We are creating a leading global game changer. The 60mn customers we have today will benefit from a seamlessly integrated, sustainable ecosystem of car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport services. We have a clear vision: these five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously and interconnect with the other modes of transport,” commented Harald Krüger, Management Board Chairman of BMW AG. “This service portfolio will be a key cornerstone in our strategy as a mobility provider. The cooperation is the perfect way for us to maximize our chances in a growing market, while sharing the investments.”
Building on their current, highly attractive product range and robust costumer base in the key regions of Europe and America, the companies will seek grow their global footprint. All recent innovations represent sustainable solutions within flourishing cities.
“We are steering very clearly towards growth, and together we will continue to invest consistently in our joint mobility services. As well as linking in additional transport options, we want to reach out to even more people in towns and cities across the world, thereby improving the quality of urban life,” added Krüger explained.
“As premium manufacturers, we have long been setting standards in the automotive industry and for our customers. In the premium vehicle business, we will continue to compete for customers. But our new portfolio for individual urban mobility on demand represents a logical extension to the value chain. Ultimately, we want to offer our customers as many options as possible for getting from A to B. In short, this is about driving, riding or being driven," said Zetsche.
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.