Blaming the "volatile state of the global mobility landscape" and rising infrastructure costs, Share Now, the car sharing service owned by Daimler and BMW, has announced that it is pulling out of North America as of February 29, 2020.
On the same date -- citing "low adoption rates" -- Share Now will also cease operating in three European cities: Florence, London and Brussels. Instead, the focus will switch to remaining European cities where it operates and where it thinks the service remains viable.
In North America, Share Now (formerly car2go) operated in Montreal, New York, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Vancouver.
"This decision was made based on two extremely complicated realities," says Share Now. "The first being the volatile state of the global mobility landscape, and the second being the rising infrastructure complexities facing North American transportation today and the associated costs needed to sustain operations here."
The Daimler AG and The BMW Group joint entity says it had remained hopeful that it would be able to come to a solution over the last few months, but that ultimately it was 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."
An email sent to London customers of DriveNow -- the name for Share Now in the U.K. capital city -- echoes a similar sentiment, with the company saying "the decision was not made lightly." It says the number of customers in London and demand for its car sharing service was below expectations and lower than other Share Now cities. The company also blames local factors, citing the high costs of operation and the different circumstances in the individual London boroughs:
We started in London in December 2014 with the vision to change urban mobility and offer a flexible and attractive mobility solution which is in combination with public transport and is an alternative to the private car.
Although more and more Londoners integrated our service in their daily mobility behaviour we had to face the hard reality that we could still not convince enough people to do so. To make our car sharing service successful in a city strongly depends on the respective market circumstances.
The number of customers in London and their demand for our car sharing service was below our expectations and lower than in other SHARE NOW cities. Furthermore, we had to face local factors, like the high costs of operation and the different circumstances in the individual boroughs.
We are saddened by this decision and deeply apologize for the inconvenience that this will cause you when service ends. We especially want to thank you for using our service in the last years and for your loyalty.