French Carmaker Plans U.S. Entry for Carshare Unit | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

French Carmaker Plans U.S. Entry for Carshare Unit

Mobility services platform Free2Move plans to launch a carshare aggregation portal — which connects consumers to multiple service providers — in the U.S. by September, Jens Weitzel, vice president of business development in North America, told Auto Finance News.

Free2Move — founded in September 2016 — is French manufacturer PSA Group’s mobility services brand. The brand unites all of PSA’s mobility solutions, which operate in the following sectors: carsharing, smart services, fleet sharing, fleet management, and lease.

PSA Group piloted Free2Move Carsharing in Los Angeles in April, marking the OEM’s entrance into the U.S.

Free2Move has already completed its first phase, securing carshare providers for its U.S. platform that are active in Europe, including Daimler-owned car2go and BMW Group’s ReachNow. “Then there will be some new [carshares] added after that for the launch,” he said.

Free2Move Lease — which offers leases to business customers, including carshare services — currently only operates in Europe. While PSA does not have any immediate plans to expand the leasing service into the U.S., the company understands it needs to keep these services top of mind as the industry evolves, Weitzel said.

“We have to have these [mobility] services that we either control directly or participate in [as a] No. 1 defensive strategy as this whole mobility ecosystem is playing out and changing,” he said. “At the same time, also maybe find some alternative revenue streams, as the market is changing.”

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