BMW and Daimler are parting ways with one of their mobility services. Automakers announced Tuesday, March 9, 2021, to sell their Park Now service to EasyPark. The latter offers a payment application for city parking lots and a place guidance system that makes it easier for drivers to find available parking or a charging station for electric vehicles. The amount of this acquisition is not specified by the interested parties.
Park Now operates under different names in 11 countries and over 1,100 cities. Users can reserve and pay for parking spaces in advance on the app. The acquisition of this service will allow EasyPark to expand its activity. The Swedish company is already present in more than 2,200 cities in around 20 European countries as well as in Australia.
The difficult profitability of mobility services
BMW and Daimler brought their mobility services closer together by creating 5 joint ventures in 2019. Each joint venture corresponding to a different service: Park Now for parking, Charge Now for charging stations, Share Now for carsharing, Reach Now for platforms multimodal and Free Now for the VTC. These last two tend to approach.
Today, manufacturers seem to be withdrawing from some of their services to refocus on their original activity as a car manufacturer. This industry is undergoing a transformation. Electric vehicles are gaining ground and manufacturers are focusing part of their research on improving this technology. Substantial sums are also spent on developing advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles.
Financing the development of mobility services, which yield little or no income, is no longer necessarily a priority. For example, they closed their carsharing service in North America due to the instability of the mobility landscape in general and its increasing costs. Recently, rumors have also circulated regarding the possible sale of Free Now to Uber which allegedly offered 1 billion euros. But, BMW would be less ready than Daimler to sell this entity.