Market overview

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The drive towards e-mobility and autonomous driving is already leading to huge shifts across the automotive industry, prompting traditional car brands like BMW and Daimler to explore new car ownership models, particularly in areas such as car-sharing services.

This drive is also in tune with wider social trends as young people increasingly decide not to buy cars and instead use online platforms offering leasing, short-term rental or subscription services. At the same time, leading manufacturers are also grappling with falling levels of traditional automotive sales in the face of various economic headwinds such as technological uncertainties, market downturns, trade tensions and Brexit.

The pace of change towards new automotive commerce models does vary from country to country. For instance Germany has become Europe’s largest car-sharing market and consumers have readily embraced these trends and started to give up regular vehicle ownership. However other countries are also now beginning to see fast growth across their car-sharing markets too.

M&A activity

In recent years this dynamic automotive technology commerce landscape (those companies engaged in the selling, buying, leasing, and subscription of cars and fleets) has seen significant deal activity with a very large number of funding rounds.

Leading automotive OEMs are also investing heavily in the full range of automotive commerce services. They are either buying start-ups outright, taking stakes in these fast-moving new players, or sometimes forming alliances with other OEMs. A good example of the latter is Daimler’s and BMW’s mobility joint venture bringing together car-sharing players car2go and DriveNow under a single business, Share Now.

The market has also seen the emergence of digital marketplaces which are fast replacing traditional dealerships and car rental companies, with increasingly advanced software only accelerating the trend.

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