Daimler has agreed to buy a majority stake in Chauffeur Prive, a French rival to the larger Uber ride-hailing app.
The deal is the latest example of traditional companies looking to deal with challenges from technology-driven start-ups.
The price of the acquisition, which will be carried out by the German automaker’s Daimler Mobility Services division, was not disclosed.
“With this step, Daimler Mobility Services has an operational presence in 15 European markets strengthening its position of making it the leading mobility services provider in Europe,” Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz cars, said in a statement on Thursday.
Chauffeur Prive was founded in 2011. The company says it has more than 1.5 million customers and access to 18,000 drivers, and the service is relatively popular in Paris.
Traditional automakers from around the world are examining how best to work on new, disruptive technologies – from electric vehicles to autonomous driving – that require hefty investment and have turned companies such as Google and Tesla into rivals.
Daimler has already made forays into the growing industry of car-ride hailing mobile applications.
In June, Dubai-based ride hailing firm Careem said it would step up its expansion into new markets after raising $150 million from investors, which included Daimler and Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding.
Earlier this month, Renault bought a stake in a glossy magazine publishing group, which it said formed part of its strategy to see how to keep travelers entertained in an era of driverless cars.
Fuente: Auto News Europe