Daimler’s car-sharing platform car2go exits China

The asset-heavy operation was unsustainable.

Ein Smart der Firma car2go auf der Weißhausstraße. Köln, 17.01.2019 *** A Smart from car2go on Weißhausstraße Cologne 17 01 2019 Foto:xC.xHardtx/xFuturexImage

Daimler’s car-sharing platform car2go has ceased operations in Southwest China’s Chonqqing, the only city where it operated, Chinese business newspaper The Economic Observer‘s online arm, eeo.com.cn, reported on Wednesday, citing a car2go staff member.

car2go’s two-seat Smart cars have already been taken off Chongqing’s roads, and the platform’s RMB 500 (USD 73) deposits have already been refunded to users, according to eeo.com.cn. Previously, car2go had 800 vehicles available for use in Chongqing. The cars could be left at any public parking lot in the city.

At the end of February, there were between 110,000 and 130,000 cars for sharing in China, operated by more than 1,600 companies, according to an industry research report cited by eeo.com.cn.

Car-sharing’s asset-heavy operational model has sagged profits.

Though Daimler is letting go of car2go, the German automaker is exploring other opportunities in China. Along with with Chinese carmaker Geely, it has set up a joint venture called Weixing Technology, which has been granted licenses to provide car rental and ride-hailing services.

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