BERLIN, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The rental car company Sixt has announced the establishment of a new car-sharing platform on Thursday with which it hopes to challenge rivals such as BMW and Daimler.
The news comes shortly after Sixt sold its remaining shares in the car-sharing Joint Venture (JV) DriveNow to BMW, a move that was widely seen as paving the way to an anticipated fusion of BMW's and Daimler's respective businesses in the growing market.
Sixt was reportedly paid 209 million euros (258.2 million U.S. dollars) by BMW for its 50 percent share in DriveNow. Even after the sale, DriveNow will continue to use, and henceforth also pay for, IT infrastructure behind the car-sharing platform which was developed by the rental car company.
Like many other automotive concerns, the luxury vehicle producers BMW and Daimler are keen to diversify into additional mobility services. Although most car-sharing platforms have so far been struggling to turn a profit, their customer base has grown rapidly to 2.1 million euros in Germany and at the very least offers carmakers an effective means of showcasing their products.
Nevertheless, Sixt intends to secure a share of the market for itself by setting up a new firm combining car-sharing, car rentals and transfer services within the course of the year.
The decision is line with a broader change in Sixt's corporate strategy which increasingly views the company as a holistic mobility provider, offering vehicle leases ranging from a few minutes to several years.