Car2Go-ing, going, gone! Service pulls out of five North American cities
By Dec. 31, it's lights out in the five cities named.
Craig ColeFormer reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
If you regularly use Car2Go's car-sharing services and reside in Austin, Texas; Calgary, Alberta; Portland, Oregon; Denver or even Chicago, the third-largest city in the United States, you'd better be prepared to find new transportation solutions. Might I suggest airing up the tires on your bike or buying a fresh pair of New Balance shoes?
By Halloween, Car2Go will be exiting the first four metropolises listed above. As for the Windy City, service will be terminated by December 31, the last day of 2019. The service has also exited the cities of Toronto and San Diego.
The reason for scaling back its business is straightforward. Here's a brief explainer from an official post on its corporate blog: "We have had to face the hard reality that despite our efforts, we underestimated the investment and resources that are truly necessary to make our service successful in these complex transportation markets..." In short, it sounds like the company didn't spend enough money to make free-floating carsharing a viable business in the five North American markets they've elected to exit.
But it's not all bad news. By nixing operations in those towns, Car2Go can better focus on the urban areas where its business model has had much greater success, places including New York City, Washington D.C., Montreal, Vancouver, BritishColumbia and Seattle.
Of course, the company is still a staunch supporter of car-sharing and has no intention of going belly-up. In that same blog post, the sustainability of private car ownership in densely populated cities is questioned. It firmly believes in the benefits of free-floating rental vehicles, which should become an even more viable transportation solution going forward.
According to the company, each shared car can replace up to eight privately owned vehicles. The potential ability to reduce congestion in cities is impressive.
Car2Go launched in North America a decade ago, though the company is a global concern. Back in February, it announced a partnership with rival company Drive Now. The unified outfit, called Share Now, is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. Part of a joint venture between BMW and Daimler, it's one of five separate mobility companies these two automakers operate.
Share Now currently has more than 4 million members and some 20,000 vehicles in 31 major cities around the world.
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