Mercedes / Drive My Car
This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world
Mercedes has created a car-sharing service that allows Munich residents to rent their cars to each other.
It doesn’t matter what brand of car you own; anyone can use the Croove service (as long as their vehicle works properly and is no more than 15 years old).
Car owners just need to create a profile and specify their vehicle’s availability and the app will suggest an appropriate rental price to charge.
Renters can find nearby cars through the app and request a reservation from the owner. Once the owner has confirmed the renter’s request, they can either meet in person to exchange the keys or the renter can pay a valet service to deliver the car to them.
Payment will be taken from the renter before they pick up the car, and then received by the owner at the end of the rental period. Renters will also be automatically insured on the car through Mercedes’ partnership with Allianz.
Contagious Insight /
Over ownership / This service follows a flurry of examples we’ve seen of car brands moving to position themselves as mobility companies. Ford, Volvo and Nissan have all launched different versions of car sharing services, from joint leasing programmes to shareable digital keys, but they are all restricted to cars from each specific brand.
Mercedes, however, has almost completely removed its brand from the service, allowing all car owners to join in. This means that Mercedes is looking at the bigger picture, considering how the auto industry is changing and figuring out where it’s going to fit in after the shift.
The shift seems to be, at least in part, towards car sharing. McKinsey’s January 2016 report on the auto industry pointed out that car sharing in North America and Germany has grown by 30% annually over the past five years – and predicted that one in every 10 cars sold in 2030 will be a shared vehicle.
This is not altogether surprising as we’ve seen the sharing economy grow in various other sectors. At the Paris auto show, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said the service is ‘Airbnb on wheels’, which gives a good indication of the company’s plan for the future.
It’s also worth noting that Mercedes has publicly partnered with Allianz to insure the vehicles on the site. This not only functionally beneficial to renters, owners and Mercedes, it is also a great way for Allianz to make itself visible to Croove users.
This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world. I/O helps anyone in the world of marketing understand why brands are innovating, how they're doing it and with what success.