Car share company Co-wheels Car Club has become part of the Oply car sharing network, which currently operates in German cities including Berlin, Munich and Hamburg and is being rolled out across Europe.
Oply UK is a new joint venture with investment from mobility provider ExaMotive SA, and SAIC Motor, owners of the British motoring brand MG.
Co-wheels currently operates car sharing in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK to enable people to benefit from socially inclusive, affordable and low emission car hire by the hour as a practical alternative to car ownership. It also delivers fleet management to corporate and public sector organisations to improve fleet utilisation and efficiency, reducing costs associated with ‘grey fleet’ mileage.
The acquisition will allow rapid expansion of the fleet in both new and existing locations as well as resources to improve services and offer a wider range of mobility solutions in future.
Co-Wheels directors Richard Falconer and Paul Balmont will continue to lead the Co-wheels operation. Paul said: “Mobility is developing at a rapid pace and we are determined to ensure Co-wheels is at the forefront, whilst ensuring our members continue to be offered the best user experience.
“For some time we have been searching for partners who could help us achieve this vision at a pace faster than would be possible on our own and we are delighted to become a part of the Oply network and be working with partners who share our ideals and vision.“
SAIC Europe Vice President Jerry Hong said: “Investment in both ExaMotive and Co-wheels is an important milestone to build-up our partnership with a shared mobility player. The user focused solutions of Oply and Co-wheels will help us as an OEM better understand customer needs and preferences towards mobility services and technology.
“Both ExaMotive and Co-wheels have achieved outstanding performance and growth in their history. By combining the resources, experience and technology of ExaMotive and Co-wheels, we believe it will further enhance their market position and competitiveness to become a major player in the car sharing market.
“We expect our new MG full electric products will be part of ExaMotive and Co-wheels’ fleets and will be well accepted by customers in the near future.”