BMW Car-Sharing Service Reaches 13K Members in Seattle
BMW’s new car-sharing program today announced executive hirings and that it has signed up 13,000 members in one month.
The ReachNow service, which launched April 8 in Seattle, allows people to use one of 370 free-floating vehicles — a mix of BMW 328xi Series sedans, MINI Coopers, and the all-electric BMW i3 — to get around town from Point A to Point B within a “Home Area” that encompasses much of Seattle proper. GeekWire tested ReachNow in April, and for the most part, we were impressed.
With 13,000 members, ReachNow is still far behind rival Car2go, the Daimler-owned company that has more than 77,000 members using more than 750 vehicles in Seattle, its largest U.S. market. But BMW’s service, which it labels as “premium,” certainly has some initial momentum from Seattle residents.
BMW shows off its new car-sharing vehicles at a launch event in Seattle last month.
BMW also announced today that Steve Banfield, a veteran of the Seattle tech community, is taking over as ReachNow CEO.
[bmwreachnow11] Banfield joins BMW from INRIX, where he worked as chief marketing officer since March 2015. Prior to that, Banfield was at Rightside, where he served as senior vice president and general manager of the domain name services company. He also worked at youth sports startup Korrio, Screenlife Games, Sony, RealNetworks and Microsoft.
“BMW has a 100-year history of innovation and has been working to shape the future of urban mobility for almost as long,” Banfield said in a statement. “I’m happy to be a part of these efforts and am looking forward to growing the ReachNow team and brand across North America.”
BMW also named Sandra Phillips as COO and Jean-Francois (Jeff) Ganot as CFO. Phillips previously launched a car-sharing service in Canada and founded a boutique agency that specializes in the planning, implementation and launch of new mobility services. Ganot is a BMW veteran, most recently a member of BMW Group’s strategic planning department.
Seattle is the first launch city for ReachNow and is also home to the ReachNow North American headquarters where it employs 20 and expects to hire another 20 by the end of 2016. The April launch comes six months after BMW suspended an electric car sharing pilot program called DriveNow in San Francisco, ending that experiment due to parking permit regulations in the city that prevent car-sharing programs from parking vehicles on public streets. BMW also already operates DriveNow services in Europe.
BMW also announced today that it will add another 150 MINI Coopers to the fleet in Seattle, bringing the total vehicle count up to 520 by the end of June.
This article originally appeared on Geek Wire.