Silvercar is one of the cooler car services in the country, a rental car agency that only rents silver Audi A4s. It’s like a rental car, only not trash. Now Audi has brought the whole thing under its wing.
It’s a move that’s interesting as it takes the company yet another step closer to eliminating the need for actually owning an Audi. This makes sense to me. Driving Audis is lovely. Maintaining them (perhaps after the warranty is out on your 4.2-liter V8) can be less so.
The deal will be concluded some time later this year, but the move is now officially official, as Audi announced itself:
Austin, Texas-based Silvercar helps Audi strengthen its platforms to serve the evolving mobility needs of the U.S. marketplace. The two companies have worked together since 2012, developing and delivering innovative consumer mobility offerings under the Audi mobility, Silvercar and Dealerware brands. In 2015, Audi participated in a $28 million Series C investment in Silvercar. The company employs about 150 people.
“Audi and Silvercar share a vision for the future of transportation,” said Matt Carpenter, Audi of America’s chief financial officer. “This acquisition enables Audi to move forward with a progressive partner and continue our technology leadership into the next era of mobility.’’
Audi’s not alone in this move. Daimler owns Car2Go, which recently announced it would carry cars that aren’t the Smart Fortwo and are therefore not loathsome to drive. BMW has its ReachNow car-sharing service, and General Motors has invested a ton of money into Lyft.
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One of the big annoyances of car sharing is that you always end up seeing fleet models that don’t really carry much pride. Silvercar is a bit more upscale, and if it gets people out of owning a car and into more frequently renting one, that’s fine with me.