BMW, Daimler cut back on short-term car rentals in Europe, exit North America

BMW and Daimler are withdrawing their joint short-term car rental service from North America and halting service in three European cities, citing rising costs and low ridership.

The pullout represents a major setback for the German companies’ ambitions to create new businesses to respond to changing consumer views about vehicle ownership.

The automakers announced a 1 billion-euro ($1.1 billion) joint investment in February into both car-sharing and ride-hailing, and such a quick retreat from one business line points to the difficulties in building up new mobility services.

The short-term rental venture, also known as car-sharing, was branded Share Now after a merger of Daimler’s Car2Go and BMW’s DriveNow units.