Car2go is dropping the signature blue and white, logoed Smart cars from its fleet. Customers in Austin will be able to rent only Mercedes-Benz cars and SUVs when using the service in December.
James Emery, general manager of car2go Austin, said the car-sharing company could expand its customer base beyond its core users by adding more Mercedes.
“You know, we’ve always been very popular with millennials and students,” he said. “And those millennials and students that started with us back in 2009, a lot of them have grown up now. They’ve got families and they just needed a different option to be car-free or car-light in Austin.”
The company is not just ditching the Smart car, it is also letting go of the blue and white logos. Emery said it's a change most of car2go's 67,000 registered Austin users wanted.
“On top of having a different vehicle option, having a little bit more subtly branded car was also something that people were looking for,” he said.
The company began adding the Mercedes-Benz CLA sedans and GLA SUVs into the Austin fleet in January. Right now, the fleet is about 50 percent Smart cars. Emery said the Smart cars will be phased out by the end of November.
The Mercedes cars can be rented through the car2go app. They are generally rented by the minute, and prices include insurance and metered parking in the city.
Car2go launched in Austin eight years ago, before expanding to 26 markets worldwide. Car2go, Mercedes-Benz and Smart are subsidiaries of Daimler AG.