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Luxurious interior.

Arriving at Berlin airport, we walk out of the terminal building. A black V-Class is waiting for us in the car park. The black paintwork has an elegant sheen, with the rims gleaming in the light. A driver wearing a dark suit is standing in front of the vehicle. He greets us politely and ushers us into the car. We sit on the spacious rear bench seat, immediately noticing how luxurious the interior is.

It’s a hot summer in Berlin. The streets are full of tourists. People are queuing in front of cafes whilst a huge number of cyclists disturb the flow of the traffic. Through the huge panoramic sunroof, we notice a lonely little cloud in the sky.

View at the backseats in a Mercedes-Benz V-Class.
View at the centre console of a Mercedes-Benz V-Class with two hands at the wheel.

Youthful, agile and motivated.

Somewhere between Mitte and Kreuzberg, we begin to slow down – it’s here that the headquarters of Blacklane are situated. With the modern Parking Assist function, the V-Class parks in the small back courtyard almost as if on autopilot. The building looks like any other in Berlin from the outside, but once inside, we are immediately struck by the entrepreneurial energy buzzing about the place.

We enter the office complex. Young people holding mugs of coffee sit and talk on sofas, whilst others sit concentrating at their desks typing away into their keyboards. It’s the classic start-up environment: youthful, agile and motivated, yet without the do-or-die attitude.

A special kind of limousine service.

Blacklane considers itself a special kind of limousine service. The business has just celebrated its 7th anniversary, which is an enormous achievement for the two founders, Jens and Frank.

We meet them in their smart conference room. The two men sit opposite us, relaxed and informal – quite different to what you might expect from businessmen in the luxury service sector. They know each other from their student days, they tell us. They met at Berlin’s Technische Universität in 2002 while they were students, but went their separate ways.

Two men are sitting and discussing in a conference room.

The travel in between.

Jens worked for one of the world’s largest management consultancies in Chicago, where he became chairman. The job meant that he was perpetually on the go; constantly travelling around the globe. Things were always well organized. And when it came to hotels or flights, everything ran smoothly. The only problem was the travel in between: receipts had to be asked for and then paid for in different currencies, plus there was an overabundance of car services with varying levels of quality.

When Frank flew to the US one time, they explain, they discussed the idea for Blacklane together and saw a great opportunity. With Jens’ experience and Frank’s technical expertise, they felt that they had what it takes to create a successful start-up.

View from the rear seat bench of a Mercedes-Benz V-Class of two men approaching the vehicle.

A minor miracle.

Although certain things needed to be put in place, the decision was made quickly and Blacklane was founded in autumn 2011. The company offers a high standard of quality, user-friendly booking channels and a first-class service, and is now present in more than 60 countries, over 300 cities and in 600 airports. To us, having achieved so much in just a few years seems to be somewhat of a minor miracle.

Human aspect combined with modern technology.

We want to know what makes Blacklane a successful start-up. Jens looks at us with a proud smile, and gives us his perspective as a founder. The human aspect is particularly important, he explains, and today it’s all about combining it with modern technology. Life for frequent travellers is stressful enough, so it’s important to alleviate as much stress as possible. As he sees it, it’s not just the working world that should be digitized, but all customer and service experiences. We agree that it not only seems sensible, but is also something worth striving for.

Two men sitting on the rear seat bench in a Mercedes-Benz V-Class and talking to each other.
The driver of a Mercedes-Benz V-Class adjusts the rear-vision mirror.

Just started.

“But we’re really only just getting started,” he adds modestly. Frank then asks if they can accompany us to the airport. Not wanting to pass up the offer, we get into the luxury MPV. The powerful engine is turned on and we drive back through the heat of the German metropolis.

Articles, News & Videos.

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

Product may vary after press date on 07.07.2019.

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

6 Stromverbrauch und Reichweite wurden auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind abhängig von der Fahrzeugkonfiguration. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

7 Angaben zu Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe der UN/ECE-Regelung Nr. 101 ermittelt. Die EG-Typgenehmigung und eine Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.