BMW’s premium car-sharing service is catching on fast in Seattle.
More than 13,000 people have registered for the ReachNow program since it launched in the city during the second week of April, BMW said Monday. The company said it plans to bring in 150 additional Mini Coopers to add to the 370 Mini Coopers, BMW 3 series and i3 electric vehicles already driving across the city.
BMW’s main competitor in the city, Car2Go, said last monththat its Smart car sharing service has more 75,000 members. Car2Go launched in the city more than three years ago.
The company also announced a leadership team to oversee the service at its North American headquarters in Seattle, which plans to employ 40 people in its Belltown office by the end of the year.
Technology industry veteran Steve Banfield will join as CEO of ReachNow, fresh off his stint as chief marketing officer of Kirkland traffic-data company INRIX. Banfield has been active in the region’s tech scene for years, and has served as a manager at Microsoft and an executive of RealNetworks.
“The chance to literally build a startup located in the heart of Seattle backed by BMW, backed by BMW cars, and at the same time focus on the next generation of smart city urban mobility … was too big of an opportunity to pass up,” Banfield said Monday.
Jean-Francois Ganot, previously a manager at BMW Group, has been named ReachNow’s chief financial officer. Sandra Phillips will serve as chief customer officer.
The service has been growing even faster than expected in Seattle, Banfield said.
Members in Seattle have driven more than 99,000 miles so far, BMW said Monday. The service will soon expand beyond central Seattle, though the company did not disclose details.
ReachNow also will begin to expand to other U.S. cities this year. Banfield did not say which city will be next, but said it will be locations where car-sharing has already proved appealing to city residents.