Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guest Post: Some thoughts about BMW Drive Now

I'm pleased to know Jose Paris, an innovative car designer (the itMoves EV) and very thoughtful about the car industry and new mobility options.  He recently posted this musing about BMW's new Drive-Now "mobility on demand" program to open soon in Munich, Germany.

He writes:

"Ivan, one of my coworkers here in London, has a funny way to describe his admiration for his former employer BMW; he just paces back and forth muttering they cover and master every single angle of the business, e.v.e.r.y single one, all while shaking his head in disbelief.

"Proving Ivan right, BMW announced last week that they were starting a premium car-sharing program in Germany.

"The news comes right on the heels of their February announcement of the i sub-brand, a division that wants to be to environmental vehicles what the M brand represents to performance, as well as the launch of i-ventures, their venture capital arm.

"Why would a conventional car company move into such a fundamental threat to their core business as car-sharing? While the launch of the i sub-brand is understandable from a product point of view, creating a venture firm and a car-sharing organization might seem, at first glance, odd. I see three possible explanations:  (Continue reading on Jose's blog.)

Here's a 5 min. "talking heads" video of the Drive Now roll-out press conference.