The Volkswagen Group has launched its own mobility services company at the “Tech Crunch Disrupt” technology event in London.
The Berlin-headquartered new venture, called MOIA, will provide the manufacturer with a platform from which to drive forward its transformation into a “globally leading provider of sustainable mobility”, a statement said.
A ride-hailing app will form an early priority for the new venture, with trails expected to start in the coming year.
Volkswagen Group chief executive, Matthias Müller, added: “MOIA will help us gain a deeper understanding of new forms of mobility and how to make them even more attractive in future, to offer a much broader scope than at present and to tailor these services to suit very wide-ranging needs.
“Even though not everyone will still own a car in future, MOIA can help make everyone a customer of our company in some way or another.”
MOIA chief executive Ole Harms revealed that the new business will be able to develop and provide mobility solutions as a stand-alone entity, working independently or in partnership with cities and existing transport systems.
He added: “In parallel, the Group brands will continue to move forward with their own services. Our sights are set on becoming one of the global top players for mobility services in the medium term. To achieve that we will be seeking to attract the best minds and technology start-ups.”
MOIA will begin operating, with a team of around 50, in Berlin, but Hamburg has also been named as a strategic location for the business and the Volkswagen Group.
Volkswagen Group and the Hanseatic city have agreed a three-year strategic mobility partnership to make urban mobility more environmentally-friendly, safer, more reliable and more efficient.
Thomas Sedran, head of group strategy at Volkswagen AG, will head a committee set to advise and support the work of MOIA. He said: “As customers’ needs change, so does the automobile business model.
“In the world’s major urban areas, there is an ever-stronger trend away from owning a vehicle towards shared mobility as well as mobility on demand.
“That is why the Volkswagen Group anchored new mobility solutions and digital services as core elements in its future program ‘TOGETHER – Strategy 2025’ in order to secure a position as a globally leading provider in this field, too.”