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Zipcar to remain open as potential buyer is found

20:00 27/02/2019

Car-sharing service Zipcar has been given a stay of execution in Brussels and will remain open until at least this summer, as talks with a potential buyer are under way.

The company, which has 250 "free-floating" hire cars around the city, announced in January that it would be closing at the end of this month after struggling to meet its growth forecasts.

The decision to close the service was reportedly made by Zipcar's majority shareholer, car rental firm Avis.

But the firm said in a statement on Wednesday: "Zipcar vehicles will be available in Brussels for our members until the summer of 2019."

RTBF reports that Zipcar is in discussions with Poppy, an Antwerp-based shared car and scooter platform owned by the Belgian car importer and distributor D'Ieteren.

"The details of the agreement are being finalised but that means that our members can continue to use the 250 vehicles in Brussels under the Zipcar brand for the coming months," Zipcar added.

Poppy already operates 350 cars and 25 electric scooters in Antwerp and claims a user base of 20,000. If the deal goes through, the Brussels cars will rebrand as Poppy.

Last year, Zipcar saw a 75% increase in the number of journeys booked compared with 2017. The company had doubled its subscriber base over the same period, but was still not profitable.

The Zipcar brand is present in more than 500 cities worldwide.

Written by The Bulletin