PARIS -- Peugeot aims to expand its Mu pay-as-you-go car-sharing scheme to more European cities.
The French carmaker has established Mu in eight European cities including Paris, Berlin, Madrid and London and wants to expand the service to other European cities with 300,000 or more inhabitants by the end of 2013 as it seeks to become a market leader, Pierre Bugeya, who heads the Mu program for Peugeot's marketing division, said.
Peugeot is one of a number of automakers setting up schemes to give people access to a car without the cost of ownership. The brand seeks to differentiate its "Mu by Peugeot" operation from competitors by offering different types of vehicles. Mu customers can rent Peugeot cars, electric vehicles, work vans, or even scooters and bicycles, by the hour or day.
"Our business model makes us a pioneer and our competitors are watching us closely," Bugeya said in an interview with Automotive News Europe Executive Edition.
BMW and Daimler's Smart microcar subsidiary are also competing for a share of the blossoming car-sharing market.
Smart operates its Car2Go car sharing scheme in Ulm, Germany, and Austin, Texas. In October, BMW introduced a 12-month pilot car-sharing program in Munich, Germany, that allows customers to hire vehicles from its model range by the hour.
Joachim Schmidt, Daimler's sales and marketing chief, said the company will launch Car2Go in Hamburg, Germany, in April and will slowly expand the scheme in the next two or three years. "We are in discussions with 10 cities in Europe and North America, one of which is London," he said.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the number of people using pay-as-you-go car-sharing services is expected to grow to 5.5 million in Europe and 4.4 million in North America by 2016.