Daimler has purchased a controlling stake in taxi e-hailing company Hailo in order to merge the firm with its own Mytaxi service.
The move will see Daimler’s service connect 100,000 taxis in 50 cities across nine countries, making Mytaxi a stronger rival to Uber and a leading force in Daimler’s move to offer more mobility services.
Daimler brand Mercedes has emphasised particular interest in offering such services, with sales and marketing boss Ola Källenius telling Autocar earlier this year that the brand was already investigating increasing its involvement in car hire and sharing services.
On top of its Hailo purchase, Daimler has invested more than £420 million in its mobility services and platforms to date. Klaus Entenmann, chairman of the firm's financial services, has said the company is prepared to make further strategic investments as it continuously build its "mobility eco-system".
“By combining Hailo and mytaxi, we have created the largest European taxi e-hailing company,” said Andrew Pinnington, CEO of Mytaxi. “We bring together world class technology, an iconic brand, high-quality people and the financial backing of our shareholders.”
Daimler’s purchase of Hailo represents a continued shift from selling products to offering more services to its customers. The trend is becoming increasingly common in the automotive industry. Just yesterday the PSA Group (responsible for Peugeot, Citroën and DS) announced a leader for its newly formed Mobility Services Department. The brand's department will compete with the likes of BMW and its DriveNow car hire service.