Operating under the assumption that bigger really is better, Car2Go is trading in its signature smart cars for something a little more … robust. On Monday, the Daimler-owned car sharing service announced that it will be expanding its offerings to include the Mercedes GLA crossover and the CLA sedan. This comes as a sharp deviation from the company’s previous offerings, which were mainly focused on the two-seat Smart car.
In fact, by the end of the year, Car2Go hopes to have more four-seater cars than Smart cars in its fleet. Six North American cities will be the first to see the luxury sedans in the lineup — Austin, Portland, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, D.C. This move, the transportation company hopes, will actually make it a bit more useful to customers who aren’t minuscule, or actually have things to transport in their cars.
“Car2Go is already the most popular car sharing service in the world,” said Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Now it will be even more attractive to small groups of friends and families who want to conveniently travel around cities in style, safety, and comfort.”
The almost 10-year-old company was first started in 2008 as one of the first ridesharing services to come out of a major automaker. While Mercedes led the charge, other luxury brands have followed suit, including BMW, who has its ReachNow service. And as the popularity of car sharing has grown, so too have the needs of customers.
“A lot of people back when we first started, they were single people, they didn’t have families, they owned a car and they decided to get rid of a car because of car-sharing services like Car2Go,” company president Paul DeLong said. “As their life has gotten bigger and people have entered into their life, having a bigger vehicle matters.”