PARIS -- Contrary to the reputation of automaker mobility projects as unprofitable experiments, BMW's DriveNow car-sharing program is making money, the automaker's top marketer says.
"We're in 12 cities around the world now," Ian Robertson, BMW AG board member for sales and marketing, said in an interview at the auto show here. "The program is profitable, and the market is developing well. The utilization is two, three, four hours a day -- so that's about four times what the average is."
DriveNow, known as ReachNow in the U.S., has about 4,000 BMW and Mini vehicles in operation. It charges members by the minute for car use.
Mobility experiments may be trendy today, but they have a solid base in global population trends, Robertson said. BMW, which developed its BMW i lineup of electric-drive vehicles in a study of megacity growth, says huge metro areas will be inhospitable to private, single-occupant cars.