Toyota, Daimler Join Growing Crowd in Paris Car-Sharing Market

(Bloomberg) -- Just as Renault SA is rolling out its new car-sharing service in the French capital, rivals including Daimler AG and Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled plans to challenge it.

The German and Japanese automakers used the Paris Motor Show as the podium Tuesday to separately declare their intentions to bring mobility services to the city next year. That will make for an increasingly crowded field, with PSA Group also planning a ride-sharing service by year-end while Uber Technologies Inc. and Taxify OU already offer ride hailing.

Automakers globally are rushing to establish themselves as providers of mobility services as shifts toward autonomous driving and car sharing threaten to disrupt the traditional model of vehicle ownership. Research and development budgets have swollen to records as everyone vies for a piece of a global ride-hailing and -sharing market that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts will swell from about $5 billion in revenue currently to $285 billion by 2030.

Daimler’s Car2Go is due to arrive in Paris ahead of Toyota, with Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche promising 400 electric Smart brand cars plying the streets by early 2019. The service is already available in 14 other places in Europe, and an additional 11 globally. Zetsche reiterated a target for finalizing a deal to combine its service with BMW AG’s DriveNow by year-end.

Toyota is studying bringing its “Yuko” hybrid-car sharing service to the city by the end of 2019, the head of its European business, Johan van Zyl, said in an interview the same day. Asia’s biggest automaker last month made public plans to expand to Madrid and Copenhagen next spring, from Dublin, Venice and Forli, Italy, now. A Toyota spokesman added that the company is considering launching mobility solutions in various European cities.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.