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ReachNow shutters car-rental and ride-hailing services in Seattle, Portland

Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times on

Published in Automotive News

SEATTLE -- ReachNow will shut down its car-rental services in Seattle and Portland this week, the company announced Wednesday, citing a corporate "realignment."

The company offered short-term rentals of BMWs and Mini Coopers, and last year launched a ride-hailing service to compete with Lyft and Uber. The firm promised drivers hourly pay and company vehicles, and offered riders Voss water, candy and preselected radio stations.

ReachNow announced in an email in May to some of its customers that it was canceling its ride-hailing service, saying its third-party vendor "could no longer support our business."

Automakers BMW and Daimler recently rolled five companies, including ReachNow, into a joint venture. When that was announced, it appeared ReachNow and Car2Go, a competing car-rental startup, would merge. But a new "realignment" means ReachNow will instead end its rental and ride-hailing services and close its Seattle and Portland offices, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

The company encouraged customers to sign up for Car2Go.

Staff were notified of the closure Wednesday morning, according to a company spokeswoman. The last day to use ReachNow was Wednesday. Members who have signed up since the start of 2019 will get a refund of their $15 sign-up fee, according to the company.

ReachNow employed 75 people in Seattle and Portland and cut about half of its jobs Wednesday, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported.

Several other short-term car-rental companies remain in Seattle, including Zipcar, bike- and scooter-share company Lime's car rental service and Getaround, which allows people to rent out their own cars by the hour.

(Michelle Baruchman contributed to this story.)

(c)2019 The Seattle Times

Visit The Seattle Times at www.seattletimes.com

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