By on January 31, 2017

Car2Go Mercedes

Daimler AG’s Car2Go has been a great way for the company to dump Smart Fortwos on urban areas and turn a profit while the itty-bitty city car’s popularity wanes. However, with only the single small offering, Car2Go is the only vehicle-sharing service that forces subscribers to decide which of their two children will have to be left behind to fend for themselves every time they take a trip somewhere.

In response, Mercedes-Benz is providing its CLA and GLA to C2G’s North American fleet — reuniting families, allowing a week’s worth of grocery shopping in a single run, and making its service substantially more competitive with rival ZipCar.

“At Mercedes-Benz we see the four key pillars for future mobility as connectivity, autonomous driving, car sharing and electrification,” said Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO, in an official statement. “Today we take another step toward that future by adding the new Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA to Car2Go’s North American fleet.”

Portland, Austin, Seattle and Washington DC will see the initial launch of Mercedes-badged vehicles become available immediately, with Vancouver and Toronto getting CLAs and GLAs early on in February.

Speaking to Automotive News, Car2Go’s Mike Silverman said that the number of new Mercedes vehicles utilized by the service should be in the thousands by the end of the year, as the company updates its fleet for most major cities within North America. When the company began offering ride sharing in 2009, the fleet was comprised entirely of Smart Fortwos. It’s Car2Go’s intent to replace the majority of its aging vehicles with new Benz compacts. While new and old  Smarts will continue to use the absolutely embarrassing to be seen in blue-and-white paint scheme, the Mercedes units will look like every other German car on the road. Specifically, they’ll be grayscale — painted either black, white, or silver.

Every GLA will feature all-wheel drive, as will the CLAs (if you pick one up in Canada). Like the eyesore Fortwos, the new cars can also be reserved, located, and unlocked using the Car2Go app. The company pays for the insurance, fuel, and maintenance itself. Users are required to return the vehicle to any legal parking space within a city’s home area.

Car2Go Mercedes

At the moment, Car2Go members pay 41 cents per minute, $14.99 per hour, or $84.99 per day to access a vehicle. Silverman told AutoNews that the fee for the CLAs and GLAs will be a few cents more per minute, which would still fall inside the typical rates of most urban car-sharing services, if not slightly above.

Car2Go was also keen to notify U.S. members potentially interested in buying or leasing a new Smart or Mercedes-Benz vehicle that they are eligible for a $500 to $4,500 discount. However, if you’re making regular use of a ride sharing-service, why the hell would you be interested in a brand new automobile? Here’s some consumer advice: consider putting the app on your mobile device for the weekend and see how many thousand you can get knocked off an AMG C63 S before deleting it.

[Images: Car2Go]

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39 Comments on “For Two, No More: Mercedes-Benz Delves Further Into ‘Mobility’ With Car2Go Sharing Service...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    if the future of mobility is “connectivity, autonomous driving, car sharing and electrification…” then I guess I’m glad I can still actually DRIVE my own car. Somehow, the future seems so blah…

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I was going to mention that too. Every single one of those things sounds awful on its own. Guess I know where Mercedes stands. Meh, their cars are the equivalent of a designer purse anyway. Too girly, too expensive.

    • 0 avatar
      Phillin_Phresh

      Nobody is forcing you to sell your car. “Connectivity, autonomous driving, car sharing and electrification…” only serve to offer more consumer choice in the marketplace.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    That ginormous plasti-chrome tristar triggers me.

    If I see it light up at night via a channel of LEDs I may smash things within close proximity.

    The car also looks like a dog taking a sh*t.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/joedolen/3190032041

    The GLA looks precisely like a Hyundai, but at least the Hyundai will be far more reliable on a relative basis.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Many of those I see are driven by gangstas. Be careful who you smash.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I was extremely tempted to break off the one on the CLA250 I rented (or, more accurately, that was assigned to me).

        I did beat that car within an inch of its life over 5 days, however, including a brutal off road experience, so there was some cathartic relief in that.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I think we need a post on that one, DW…

          “How I went all Baja 1000 on a CLA250”

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Were there any apparent symptoms from this off-road adventure?

          I agree on the Hyundai styling though, both Audi and Benz are beginning to look more like their ex-imitators.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            It may have been related, but the HVAC system started freaking out and doing random things (turning heat on full blast, or not working at all, etc), not responding to inputs, and other weird things, which would require me to shut the car off and restart it 1 to 3 times to regain normal function.

            There were no problems with the steering, motor or suspension, which was impressive given the absolute abuse I subjected it to.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            Modern suspensions/drive-trains are typically pretty robust, its the complex HVAC and computer stuff that can act up as you demonstrated. More than likely a sensor got dirty or something knocked-loose.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      Yeah, German cars.

      Me, I wouldn’t buy a German car with YOUR money. (Been there, done that.)

      And yes, I “get” German cars. German cars are the expensive, pouty, and
      high-maintenance mistresses of the road. Damn, they are a fine, fine
      ride…

      …..but then the maintenance and pouting kicks in.

      At some point, without unlimited funds, you are at a decision point:
      continue the high-priced, high-maintenance fun, or go back home and
      enjoy your reliable Lexus wife of a car, patiently sitting there waiting
      for you to get over the midlife crisis.

      Oh sure, she’s not as sexy as the German car, and she doesn’t handle at
      the edge like the German car. She’s also not as fickle and high
      maintenance and pouty, and she agrees with you much more of the time.
      She’s always there and never complains, and you come to realize there’s
      more to life than a high-maintenance relationship with a pouty,
      high-maintenance woman–no matter how sexy she is or how fun the nights
      out with her can be. Because when she lets you down and demands more of
      you than you have to give, and treats you like dirt, you’re standing
      there all alone outside the club, looking and feeling like an idiot.

      Your Lexus wife would never, ever do that to you.

      And the occasional fun night out isn’t worth what you end up paying for
      it, both financially and in time wasted while you wait for the German
      car mistress to be in the mood to play.

      Do this: start paying attention to cars with tail light and headlight
      problems. What brands of cars are you seeing? That’s right–VW, M-B, and
      BMW. And pay attention to how old, or rather how new, those problem cars
      are.

      The reality of electrical issues with German cars make Lucas electrics
      look reliable.

      Now *try* to find a Honda or Toyota, either low brand or high brand, no
      matter how old, with non-working tail lights. Good luck.

      It’s a small thing, but it represents the reality of the situation. You
      want to buy a German car? Just buy a GM car. At least the money you’re
      throwing away stays more inside the country–and you get just as
      reliable a car.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        It’s true.

        German reliability does scare me, as does the cost of replacement parts.

        It’s ironic I’m in a 4 1/2 year old MB E350 when making that statement, but it’s under an extended warranty, and even if I don’t have a single issue with it while under warranty, I don’t think I’d keep it last that point.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Who buys them out of warranty?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Me. I bought my wife an ’05 A6 in 2008, with just a year’s worth of warranty remaining. Still have it – nearly 12 years old now.

            While there have certainly been a few surprises, it’s been no maintenance nightmare. I would estimate an extra $60/month vs. an Accord of similar vintage.

            Now I feel stuck. Nobody wants a 12 year old Audi; I might get $3K for it. But I like it. The seats are amazing; so much nicer than my Accord after just a year’s use. The ride is smooth, the stereo clear and I don’t worry about where I park or whether it gets another scratch.

            The cars I’ve been looking at are 10-20X the cost. But they sure aren’t worth 10-20X my old Audi. So I guess I’ll stick with it until it dies. Or I trust my eldest enough to give him a car.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Matador was riding an MY01 A6 for the longest time, mid-high miles IIRC (150ish). Perhaps well serviced examples can go the distance?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Yes. I think it becomes a question of tolerance for idiot lights and the occasional large bill.

            But the second it shows signs of timing chain, transmission or electrical gremlins, I am Audi 5000, Cher.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            Any customer who shops at a BHPH. Bad neighborhoods have as many German luxury cars as nice neighborhoods. The cars are just a decade older.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            One of the biggest lessons (regarding vehicles) I’ve learned in life is to NEVER give up a vehicle you really like and enjoy, barring some sort of catastrophic issue (e.g. reliability nightmare), just because you’ve had it a long time, or you might feel some urge to make a change.

            Out of every 5 vehicles I’ve owned, I may be crazy about 1, like 2, be indifferent about 2, and have/develop pure, unadulterated hatred for 1.

            Keepers are few and far between. These are the vehicles that you literally hate to see go, whether by age, accident, etc, and that you actually develop an emotional bond towards.

            It is often worth it to spend extra money to rebuild, recondition, or somehow restore a component, body section, or other major part of these vehicles to keep them road-worthy and safe/reliable, and keep the love affair alive.

            I’ve also learned that many 10 or even 15 year old vehicles are superior in many ways to brand new ones. I genuinely believe there are many manufacturers that put out their best versions of models back in 1993, or 1998, or 2003, or 2008…and that every successor has been worse than its ancestor.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Oh no, not the C3 Audi. There’s like a thing about that.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            28CL,
            You’re making me nervous. Spill the beans!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Its kinda like a Gnostic thing of the Church; myself, Corey, Bball, and now you have all had C3 Audis (I would not be surprised if Lord Kek as well). Somehow the C3 always comes up in conversation and when it does, everyone must chime in on it, on its greatness and failings. But due to its lack of faith (VAG inline five), strange suspension (needed Pentosin), and deviant drivetrain (early AWD was an option but not standard), the C3 was castigated from the One True Faith, it lives on only in myth and mystery – but almost vowing to return.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_100

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Ha!
            My father had a C2. I-5 Diesel MT in fact. I doubt it had 80 horsepower, but he beat it within an inch of its life over the 3 years he leased it.

            I remember trying to drive it at 16. So much clutch, so little forward movement.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            See how this is scary?

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            My father had a late D1 V8 — a slightly stretched C3 with more cylinders and some nice trim — with the 4.2 that I got to drive quite a lot. I enjoyed that car as much as anything I’ve had since, although comparison to the other cars in my life at the time (most of which were terrible) was part of the reason. I still love the look.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Just keeps going. The power of C3 compels you!

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        Have to laugh at the headlight and taillight problems. Modern cars (especially if you’re talking German cars) tend to have LEDs in the tails and either HIDs or LEDs in the headlights. And from what I’ve seen, they are extremely reliable, even as they age.

        Either way, the whole “German cars are a maintenance nightmare” is such a fallacy. It seems to be perpetuated by people who have a bad experience when they buy an older German car and somehow expect to have zero problems with it. The ironic thing is that buying ANY old car will most likely result in spending money on repairs, but somehow only German cars get the bad reputation when you have to spend money on repairs. Maybe the fact that the parts tend to be more expensive is the real reason people rag on German cars.

        I had a Toyota and an Audi that were both out of warranty for about the same amount of time and I spent far more money on the Toyota then the Audi. So I guess in my own reality, a Japanese car is just a money pit and a maintenance/repair nightmare.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I think this move is a misstep, at least if the CLAs/GLAs really end up being the majority of the cars in the fleet. The biggest challenge with using Car2Go tends to be a lack of available parking at the destination. You can’t just pay for private parking. So, especially in oversubscribed residential permit areas like First Hill and north Capitol Hill in Seattle, you can circle blocks for an awful lot of $0.41 minutes before finding a spot. The smart fits in way more spots than a CLA.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      This is anecdotal, but Toronto has had the B-Class (CLA-related tall wagon) for about a year now, and I’m not sure they’ve expanded it much beyond the initial 10 pilot program vehicles.

      Also, depending on the city, they have plenty of designated spots available (Toronto’s got a large municipal parking agency, so that helps), although again, the smarts tend to be allowed to double-park.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It has already come to Seattle as a GLA wearing the new livery as seen above pulled up next to me on my way down Denney Way tonight. I did a double take since that was the first time I’ve noticed one of these as a Car2Go.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Maybe the idea here is to put these cars into the hands of potential buyers…?

    Otherwise, I’m kinda scratching my head as to why a Mercedes would be used for a rideshare car. Wouldn’t someone who can actually afford a CLA just buy one?

    Or is this meant to snare the all important and heretofore unknown upscale ride share market for their own?

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      This is for the 20-35ish guy who’s paying $4,000 a month to rent a 1-bedroom apartment with all the “ameneties” (i.e., shared pool, shared deck, shared gym) downtown or in some other gentrified inner-city area. He has nothing left for a car payment, or to rent a parking space. But F* you if you think he’s going to take his shallow date out in a (insert pedestrian branded) Zipcar! You can’t expect a girl to walk in knock-off heels, can you?

      “Wow, I didn’t know you drove a MERCEDEEZ! My girlfriends will be so jealous!”

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    This should finally convince Americans that the small Mercs are NOT luxury cars.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I also had a Mercedes C Class rental within a month of the CLA, and it was a pretty premium feeling/riding small car.

      It may have not have been “luxurious” in the sense that it lacked the pure size people in the U.S. have come to associate with luxury vehicles, but it was big enough, it handled well, the interior materials and fit/finish were outstanding, it’s suspension was perfectly tuned for a true premium compact sedan, and to be honest, I would take it over a Cadillac CTS, Lexus ES350, and BMW 2 Series, despite being smaller than the CTS or ES350 (I’m not sure if I’d take it over an Audi A4; the Merc rides better while the Audi looks better and I love Audi’s aesthetics).

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        The C class of the last few generations, do have a semi premium feel. There are certain aspects that let them down, specifically the four cyl. engines and obviously some of the trim however the RWD chassis does give you ‘that’ feel and I reckon even the styling as a mini E or mini S works. It is a bit tight for 4 adults but it is a compact car.

        The CLA does not have that premium feel. You cant look at the above CLA picture and not see that there’s stark problems with the design. I hesitate to blame the FWD layout because even the Japanese and Koreans have been able to engineer a premium feel in their FWD cars.

        An A3 sedan runs rings around the CLA in every aspect, its embarrassing.

  • avatar
    Phillin_Phresh

    A note to Mr. Posky:

    Car2go’s main competitor is ReachNow, not Zipcar. ReachNow offers pay-per-minute car sharing with a fleet of BMW and MINI vehicles, for the same price. Car2go is merely upgrading their fleet to stay competitive.


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