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Croove by Mercedes-Benz, Munich Croove by Mercedes-Benz, Munich

Car park economy

10 : 01 : 2017 Mercedes-Benz : Ride-share Market : Croove

Munich – Mercedes-Benz has launched Croove, a new car-sharing service.

  • Mercedes-Benz believes consumers are interested in monetising their private vehicles’ downtime
  • Rather than being restricted to Mercedes-Benz’s own models, Croove is open to owners of any brand of vehicle
  • Parent company Daimler already owns rental company Car2Go and Europe’s largest taxi-booking firm mytaxi

Mercedes-Benz is the latest legacy motor manufacturer to enter the car-sharing market in a bid to update its business model. The Croove scheme, which was launched in Munich in December 2016, connects private vehicle owners with those wishing to hire a vehicle via an app.

Rather than being proprietary, the service is open to owners of any brand of car provided that the vehicle is no more than 15 years old. The company believes this system allows much more flexibility in terms of vehicles on offer and pick-up locations than more traditional car hire options.

‘On average, a car is parked for 23 hours a day,’ Dr Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said in a statement. ‘Why not make it earn a little money during this time? Car-sharing will be a key element of the mobility concept in tomorrow’s cities.’

Car owners use the Croove app to create a profile listing the vehicle and any extra equipment as well as, notably, letting them set their own usage price. The system does require owner and hirer to meet to inspect the vehicle and exchange keys, however, which seems a little convoluted in an era when brands such as Lynk & Co are building vehicles from the ground up to be seamlessly shareable and Tesla is speculating about allowing customers to run their own automated taxi services.

The Big Idea

As consumer interest in vehicle ownership fades, legacy car brands such as Mercedes-Benz are realising that they have to evolve their business models. Read our Ride-Share Market report for more.