BMW considers expanding car-sharing program to 10 U.S. locations

The DriveNow program offers the BMW 1-series.

GENEVA (Bloomberg) -- BMW plans to expand its car-sharing program to as many as 25 new cities to lure younger customers in the United States and Europe.

The company is looking to add the DriveNow short-term rental business in 10 locations in the United States and 10 to 15 in Europe, said Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW board member responsible for the program.

"It's offers very good opportunities for us to attract new customers," Schwarzenbauer said in an interview at the Geneva auto show late Tuesday. The program, which uses Mini vehicles and BMW 1-series compacts, currently has about 240,000 users.

BMW operates DriveNow in cooperation with German car-rental company Sixt SE in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Dusseldorf and San Francisco. BMW is banking on the program to hook young consumers on the automaker before they get older and consider purchasing a vehicle once they have families.

DriveNow allows customers to rent vehicles by the minute and use the cars for point-to-point destinations, leaving them parked on city streets when they're finished. The program's main competitor is a service from Daimler called Car2Go, which offers Smart autos by the minute in several cities.

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