Is Car Buying a Thing of the Past?

BMW hosts test beds for new mobility services.

 

It’s not everyone’s dream to own a “Beamer,” or any car for that matter.

Apparently that’s the future BMW envisions, especially with a younger generation gravitating towards cities and not keen on the traditional trappings of success. To try to connect with this generation, the luxury vehicle maker is experimenting with a hybrid model of mobility services, which includes both ridesharing and carsharing in Seattle, according to an article on CNN.com.

Specifically, BMW’s ReachNow venture launched a year ago, now maintains a fleet of 700 sedans and SUVs that can be interchangeably used by professional drivers as a fleet vehicle in the genre of Uber or Lyft or be redeployed on the streets and reserved by customers akin to the Zipcar model, the article said. It’s that hybrid approach that makes BMW’s business model so unique because units can be deployed either way based on customer demand.

The BMW ridesharing services, dubbed ReachNow Ride, is starting small with 100 professional drivers and 4,500 members who have registered on the app. The service is also pitching itself as a premium ride, the article said, courting customers with bottled water and chocolate and providing the ability to set the car’s temperature via the app before they even enter the vehicle. The ReachNow carsharing service has kicked off with three cars available to people in a single Seattle office building, but the company plans to expand the fleet with electric vehicles in the near future.

BMW might be on to something: It’s a lot less daunting to pay for a Beamer ride than a Beamer car payment.

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