Car-sharing boom in Germany

German car-sharing firms post strong growth figures in 2017.

Car-sharing boom in Germany

Frankfurt (dpa) - Car2Go, the car-sharing subsidiary of German automotive giant Daimler, posted a 30-per-cent rise in customers last year, according to figures made public in Stuttgart on Thursday.

Car2Go said that 2.97 million people used its service in 2017, allowing it to retain its leading position in the sector - point-to-point rentals not bound to a rental office and booked via an app.

On Wednesday, DriveNow, a competitor owned by Daimler rival BMW and car rental company Sixt also reported a 25-per-cent rise in customers, to 1.03 million. The company has a fleet of 6,000 cars operating on the same point-to-point principle as Car2Go.

"We grew in all areas: number of customers, rental length and vehicle utilization. And this occurred in all the regions that we are active in," Car2Go chief executive Olivier Reppert said.

Customers rented a Mercedes-Benz or smart from the company 24 million times last year, pushing utilization of its 14,000 vehicles to around 38 per cent.

The cities with the most registered customers are Berlin, Madrid and the western Chinese city of Chongqing.

Daimler launched its car-sharing provider in 2008 but has posted profits with it only in certain cities.

The company has plans for other mobility apps and platforms, such as mytaxi and moovel, as well as a share in companies such as Flixbus, the Munich-based European intercity bus service.

Daimler also recently bought a share in the French private car service Chauffeur Prive.