With the Chinese name JíXíng car2go (which translates approximately to "set off immediately"), car2go is starting up in the Chinese mega-city of Chongqing.
The Daimler subsidiary is the first international company to put the concept of free-floating car sharing into practice in the Middle Kingdom. “China plays a key role in Daimler’s global strategy and we are committed to growth in China with sustainability and innovation,” said Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Greater China. “With car2go as the world‘s leading free-floating car sharing service, we bring an innovative and sustainable mobility solution for urban transportation to China. With the launch in Chongqing, we once again underline the importance of the Chinese market to Daimler.”
Change in awareness in the Middle Kingdom
The severe traffic congestion in the Chinese city centers, parking issues and increasing environmental pollution due to an increase in car registrations, has led to a change in awareness within China, and a recognizable interest in new forms of mobility. That’s why car sharing is gaining increasing importance in China's metropolises, as a new form of individual urban mobility. “With car2go we want to participate in these early stages of this market development", said Roland Keppler, CEO of the car2go Group, at the opening press conference in Chongqing. “I am convinced that our offer will establish itself quickly in China, and that we have picked the perfect city car with the smart model."
Rainer Becker, CEO car2go China, says: “As a groundbreaking mobility service, car2go focuses on providing smarter, greener, more innovative and sustainable solutions for future urban cities, and maximizing the potential city life offers.”
car2go will initially start in Chongqing with around 400 blue and white smart fortwo models. The plan is that the fleet will grow to 600 vehicles by the fall – and keep growing. With around 7.7 million residents in the city center alone (30 million in the entire urban area), the mega-city of Chongqing offers huge market potential. The defined business district of around 60 square kilometers is concentrated on the extended inner city area, and is comparable in size to the business district of the German location in Frankfurt.
Chongqing – an attractive location
car2go has selected a very promising location with the mega-city of Chongqing: the city is located at the confluence of the Yangtze River and the Jialing River, and is one of the largest cities in the world. Around 7.7 million people live in the overall metropolitan region, and the high-density urban core has 4.3 million residents. The location is also home to a large number of industrial enterprises, which make a significant contribution to the commercial success of the city: the metropolis of Chongqing has China's highest rate of growth, at 11 percent of gross domestic product in 2015.
New markets – new streets – new experiences
"We have gained valuable experiences with car2go both in the European and American markets. China will be a new challenge due to the cultural differences – and I'm looking forward to it", said Roland Keppler. The launch in Chongqing car2go can learn about the Asian market and gain valuable experience for further rollouts. Roland Keppler: "I am sure that the launch of car2go in Chongqing will be a successful pilot project for the entire Asian market."
The launch of car2go in Chongqing was announced in January 2015 with signing of a memorandum. Rainer Becker and his team of 23 people started to build up the new car2go business since then.