Free2move's carsharing service allows customers to rent a car by the minute, hour, day, or month. - Photo: Free2move

Free2move's carsharing service allows customers to rent a car by the minute, hour, day, or month.

Photo: Free2move

Free2move announced it has signed an agreement to acquire carsharing company Share Now, a joint venture formed by Mercedes-Benz Mobility Group and BMW Group in 2019. The agreement adds 14 European cities, about 10,000 vehicles, and more than 3.4 million customers to Free2move’s existing car sharing fleet of 2,500 vehicles.

This acquisition will further contribute to the company's Dare Forward 2030 ambition of growing a profitable mobility service to net revenues of €2.8 billion with a first step of €700 million revenues in 2025.

"Cars will not disappear soon, but the way we use them will," said Brigitte Courtehoux, Free2move CEO. "Markets are quickly evolving. Customers are switching from ownership to usage. And by 2030, the world’s global population will have risen to close to 8 billion people; the urban population will represent 60% in comparison to 50% at present, and the effects of congestion could rise by 50%. In this context, Free2move is accelerating the deployment of its mobility services on an international level and wants to grow rapidly and organically, with M&A opportunities, to answer the growing need for alternative transportation in the vehicle rental market. Carsharing is one way we can address vehicle access in this evolving market."

Already operational in the U.S. and Europe, the Free2move service model allows a customer to take a car for a few minutes or a few hours. If a customer would like the vehicle longer, they are able to keep the same car without changing the contract. Free2move pricing adjusts automatically.

“Integrating Share Now’s strong position in major European cities will allow our customers to gain greater access to a wider range of services to satisfy their varied mobility needs,” said Courtehoux. “Equally important, this acquisition will also accelerate our profitable growth. We are now a step closer to achieving our goal of expanding Free2move’s worldwide presence to 15 million active users by 2030.”

By structuring its mobility service offerings to meet new social, environmental, and economic challenges the brand faces daily, Free2move offers a unique ecosystem for its private and professional customers across the U.S. and Europe, Courtehoux added. "By anticipating users' needs, tomorrow’s mobility, and changes within our society, Free2move offers solutions for both B2B and B2C customer needs. Maintaining client relationships is one of the main challenges in the auto industry. Traditionally, contacts are only signed once a year. As a mobility provider, we benefit from day-to-day customer interaction."

Free2move also recently announced the acquisition of Opel Rent, accelerating its growth strategy in Germany and Austria, and pushing the transition from rent to mobility provider. Meanwhile, it has accelerated its carsharing expansion in the U.S., with service now available in Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon, Denver, Colorado, Columbus, Ohio, and Austin, Texas. The company also operates carsharing in Europe (Paris and Madrid).

Commenting on the company's strategy for the future, Courtehoux said that in the U.S. in particular, Free2move is focused on giving access to data to as many people as possible through its products and services and by enabling connectivity with platform partners. "This is the case, for example, with Geotab, whose users can now access data from their Stellantis vehicles thanks to the connection established between the Free2move MultiBrand server and Geotab," she explained. "These advanced solutions give fleet owners the ability to drive increased operational efficiencies, reduce downtime, and increase driver safety. Free2move takes these capabilities further and combines data insights with new methods of mobility that expand the reach and breadth of fleet operations tools."

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