Mercedes Running Pilot Test of Croove Car-Sharing Service
Interesting New Car-Sharing Feature from Mercedes-Benz
Alternate means of transportation have been rapidly growing in the last couple years. Uber and Lyft, the ridesharing services have exploded in popularity and have almost wiped out traditional taxi services in many locations. Mercedes’ Croove service might be the revolution that kills traditional car rental services as it is intended to connect renters directly with vehicle owners to rent directly. Croove allows users to enter in parameters about what make, model and luxury features they require in their rental car and will return a list of available options for the renter’s timeframe needed.
The clever app can help people get a taste of what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a Mercedes, but surprisingly the service is not a Mercedes exclusive, instead Daimler has set out to have any car available on the service so long as it is in good condition and is no more than 15 years of age. That last limitation can be a bit of a bummer for anyone who would want to rent a classic for their trip to Italy – but it makes sense as far as difficulty of insurance goes.
So despite the decision to have their service allow for any manufacturer’s cars to go up into the rental program, it seems Mercedes has found out a clever means of making a profit here that will benefit them more than most over auto companies.
Croove will not only get new drivers behind the wheels of Mercedes, enjoying that posh interior or smoothest ride possible suspension offering the perfect carriage for their business trip or vacation. That is definitely a beneficial marketing move – but even more than that, the new Croove service could offer prospective Mercedes buyers a means to actually afford their payments on that new luxury coup they’ve been eyeing as they can rent out their new Mercedes every once and awhile and take the bite off their payments giving access to luxury cars to income brackets who’d never think of them before.
It’s become a well-trod refrain, but carmakers are looking at what comes after ownership, and car-sharing between individual owners and renters is one of those models. Mercedes-Benz has begun its own car-share service that adopts that approach – Croove, a platform that has now launched as a pilot in Munich, Germany.
Croove is pure peer-to-peer car rental model, where renters use an app to make choices about what model, trim level and other options they’re looking for in a car. The app will poll its database of registered vehicle owners in the area and find out what’s available for the time and duration need by the renter, and connect the dots. Continue Reading