<p><em><strong>Photo: car2go</strong></em></p>

Car-sharing company car2go has announced its planned launch in China. The on-demand car-sharing service will head to the Chinese metropolis of Chongqing with several hundred smart fortwo vehicles within a year.

The launch in China, the first step into the Asian market, will be a pilot program. car2go also announced that a letter of intent was signed with the city council of the central Chinese city.

“With the car2go launch in Chongqing, we will once again take the lead and underline the importance of the Chinese market for Daimler.” said Bodo Uebber, member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler Financial Services AG. “With more than 1 million customers, car2go has already successfully established itself in Europe and in North America as an innovative and sustainable mobility solution for urban traffic. I am convinced that the car2go vehicles will similarly shape the cityscape of Chongqing in the near future.”

The launch of car2go in the southwest Chinese city is planned within a year. Several hundred smart fortwo vehicles will be running the service, according to the company. The business area is expected to include the extended downtown area of Chongqing. moovel GmbH will set up its own subsidiary in China to operate car2go.

"We believe that Asia will be the third successful market for car2go, in addition to Europe and North America. We’re not only focused on entering the Asian market, but we’re also focused on gaining valuable experience for future rollouts in other cities,” said Roland Keppler, COO of moovel GmbH and responsible for car2go. “Personally, I am pleased that we will launch the first Asian car2go city in one of the most important cities in China, and I believe that its success will serve as a progressive example to the entire Asian market.”

Chongqing is located at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing river, covering an area of approximately the size of Austria. The metropolitan area’s population is about 7.7 million with the dense core city home to 4.3 million inhabitants, according to the company.

"I am thrilled that we will be continuing car2go in Asia. Daimler has had a long history as the pioneer of mobility – from inventing the first automobile to innovative car sharing, and we are energized to move another important step forward,” said Klaus Entenmann, chairman of Daimler Financial Services AG, to which car2go is assigned within the Daimler Group. "Asia is an important market for Daimler, not only in the field of automotive sales and acquisition, but also for financial and mobility services."