Daimler says its car-sharing program is already profitable in multiple cities and BMW expects its scheme to start making money this year.
Both German automakers also predict that their mobility businesses will generate 1 billion euros each in annual revenues starting in 2020 as more people take advantage of renting cars by the minute for short journeys within crowded cities.
"You're witnessing a tipping point in the car-sharing market. It's becoming mainstream," Tony Douglas, head of marketing and sales for mobility services at BMW, told Automotive News Europe.
Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen also have established car-sharing arms to take advantage of a sector that analyst Frost & Sullivan forecasts will grow to 26 million global users by 2020 from 2.3 million now. Europe is expected to have 15 million car-sharing customers by 2020, up from 1 million today.