Customers of car-sharing service Car2Go can now rent a Mercedes-Benz following the move of its mother company, Daimler AG, to acquire new Mercedes-Benz Luxury CLA and GLA sedans that will serve North American cities. Daimler aims to outnumber the service's two-seat Smart cars by the end of 2017.
Six North American cities including Austin, Texas, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, Washington, District of Columbia, Toronto, Ontario, and Vancouver, British, Columbia will receive the new vehicles. The expansion to luxury vehicles aims to attract more customers who need more space.
According to Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Car2Go is the most popular car-sharing service in the world. The addition of the Mercedes-Benz cars will make it more attractive to clients who are looking for style, safety, and comfort.
An initial fleet will start rolling in the D.C. region this week. Daimler is investing more in the service in response to its surging popularity and growing business. Data from 2016 reveal that membership rose by 23 percent to 2.2 million while vehicle utilization increased by 40 percent between 2015 and 2016. Madrid, Berlin, and Vancouver are the cities where high membership growth was recorded.
The company expects more business in 2017 due to the dynamism of the car-sharing market. It is planning to add new fleets, new offers, and new products.
"car2go is an integral part of our comprehensive mobility offerings," said Klaus Entenmann, CEO of Daimler Financial Services AG. "Millions of people all over the world are using our mobility services, and they all have one thing in common: they want up-to-date, flexible, and spontaneous mobility in their city - without owning a car."
Car2Go started its North American operation in 2010 with a fleet of diminutive, white Smart cars. The subsidiary of Daimler also provides transportation services in European cities. It was founded in Germany in 2008 and has now 30 locations. BMW and General Motors also offer same services with ReachNow and Maven, respectively.