Stunning collapse as Daimler, BMW pull car-sharing service from North America

car2go shuts down

Daimler and BMW are pulling their car-sharing service Share Now — formerly Car2Go — out of North America, the global automakers announced today (Dec. 18).

In a joint statement, the companies said Share Now would shutter service on Feb. 29, 2020. Share Now currently operates in New York City; Montreal; Seattle; Vancouver, British Columbia.

In a harbinger of things to come, Share Now pulled out of five other major metropolitan areas earlier this fall. including Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; Calgary; Denver, Colorado and Chicago.

The decision was based on “two complicated realities,” Daimler and BMW said in the statement: the “volatile state of the global mobility industry” and rising infrastructure costs associated with operating a car-sharing service in North America. 

“While we had remained hopeful that we would be able to come to a solution — especially these last few months — we are ultimately not in a position to commit to the level of investment necessary to make the North American market successful both in the near and long term,” the companies said.

Share Now is also ceasing operations in three European cities: London, Brussels and Florence, Italy.

The collapse came less than a year after Daimler and BMW announced they were investing  $1.13 billion in a joint mobility effort that included autonomous cars, ride-hailing, electric scooters, car-sharing and electric car charging.

A pioneer in the car-sharing market, Car2go’s zippy smart cars became a fixture in metropolitan areas around the country, ushering in an era of auto-sharing in a country where individual car ownership had reigned supreme.

But the business seemed to stumble as ride-hailing giants charged into the rapidly changing mobility market. Peer-to-peer car-sharing services also surged past their fixed-asset predecessors. This summer the peer-to-peer car-sharing startups Getaround and Turo announced large funding rounds. Bike- and scooter-sharing added to the competition.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.