China: BMW wins ride-hailing license

BMW reportedly has achieved a ride-hailing first. The luxury automotive brand has obtained a license to launch a ride-hailing service in China, with the service’s debut set for December, according to a Wednesday, November. 21, report from Reuters.

The report stated that BMW becomes “the first global automaker to obtain such a license in the fast-growing market.” The report also stated said that “BMW Mobility Service, a fully owned subsidiary of the BMW Group, obtained its ride-hailing license in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in China’s southwest.”

Earlier this year, BMW Group announced that it would increase its stake in “its Chinese joint venture with partner Brilliance China Automotive Holdings to 75% from 50%,” Reuters said. The Chinese ride-hailing market is reportedly a US$23 billion industry—one dominated by China-based Didi Chuxing.

In October, Daimler Mobility Services and Geely Group Company, Geely Holding Group’s new business entity, announced the creation of a high-end ride-hailing joint venture in China. In a press release, the companies announced the 50-50 joint venture will be headquartered in Hangzhou, providing ride-hailing services in several Chinese cities using premium vehicles including, but not limited to, Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The initial fleet will be comprised of Mercedes-Benz S-Class, E-Class, and V-Class and Maybach vehicles, and could be supplemented by premium electric vehicles from the Geely Group.

Earlier this year, BMW announced said it would work with Daimler to combine the two companies’ car sharing businesses. The deal includes car sharing units car2go and DriveNow, as well as other ride-hailing, parking and charging services, and allows for Daimler and BMW to each hold 50% stakes in the venture. The companies offered concessions to address European Commission competition concerns, specifically for free-floating car sharing services in Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, and Vienna.

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