Turo: The car sharing service wants to conquer the German market
The US provider Turo has been trying in Germany since Friday. Haddad is the head of this peer-to-peer car sharing platform, on which private individuals can rent their vehicles to other private individuals on a daily basis. Anyone who knows Airbnb, where people temporarily leave their rooms, apartments or entire houses to strangers from all over the world, will quickly recognize the system. You enter on a website or in a mobile phone app when you need what type of vehicle, where, for how long, and the platform provides a rental company who has exactly that on offer. He in turn pays a kind of commission to Turo. Allianz insures the cars for the rental period.
The Americans are not alone in the German market. The French company Drivy, for example, which claims to be the market leader in Europe, has 1.5 million users and 45,000 cars in Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Austria and Belgium. The Dutch Snappcar has almost 400,000 users and around 45,000 cars in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Both have taken over a German provider, and both also work with Allianz.
"We are very satisfied with the development of Drivy in Germany", says the responsible manager Nils Roßmeisl. With more than 6,000 cars and a good 200,000 users, it is the second largest market after France and ahead of Spain. The main task in this country is first of all to create awareness for car sharing among potential landlords and tenants.
Turo is not starting from scratch either: the Croove platform from Daimler will be integrated into it right from the start. The Stuttgart-based car manufacturer, which also includes the car sharing provider Car2Go, joined Turo last year. Daimler does not want to reveal how big Croove was so far. Only this much: one is satisfied with the growth.
Turo has set a goal of nothing less than market leadership in Germany by the end of the year. The platform has more than five million members and 200,000 cars in the USA, Canada and Great Britain. "The business is growing very quickly," says Haddad. In six to twelve months, the “critical mass” could be reached in Berlin and Munich - in other words: so many users that the system works properly. In cities like Stuttgart, Frankfurt or Cologne it should be two to three years, he believes.
The local Turo boss Marcus Riecke, formerly at StudiVZ and most recently at the neighborhood platform Nextdoor, considers Germany a worthwhile destination, among other things because of the large car market. It is also a popular travel destination, especially for visitors from abroad. And, as Haddad also emphasizes: The so-called sharing economy, i.e. the common use of things instead of property, is going well in Germany.
In the experience of Drivy boss Roßmeisl, the Germans are a bit different from others. “In France and Spain, the car is primarily a means of transport, not a status symbol, as is still the case in Germany,” he says. The offer there is also used more by holidaymakers. "With us, Drivy is particularly attractive for city dwellers who want to get out of town for a few days or who need a vehicle for transport or relocation."
Overall, as the car manufacturers have also recognized, owning your own car is no longer the ultimate for many in this country either. And that also explains the growing commitment of manufacturers in the field of mobility services, even if, strictly speaking, this damages their core business, the sale of cars. The motto is: If we don't do it, someone else will do it and earn money with it.
Haddad says that ultimately everyone benefits from it: the tenants who are mobile without their own car and the landlords who could earn money with their car, which otherwise stands around uselessly most of the time. On average, renting nine days a month was enough to get the running costs out, he calculates.
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