Volkswagen is set to accelerate its car sharing and subscription services after celebrating a ‘mobility milestone’ with the conclusion of its takeover of vehicle rental giant Europcar.
The German OEM has said that it will “accelerate Europcar Mobility Group’s transformation to become the leader in sustainable mobility through technology and data” after sealing the Europcar deal alongside consortium partners Attestor and Pon Holdings.
Forming part of VW’s NEW AUTO strategy, the acquisition will accelerate the roll-out of a mobility offering that will provide its customers with access to a range of mobility solutions, ranging from a car sharing service available for just a few hours to vehicle subscriptions over multiple months.
Pilots of these services to start in Vienna in Q4 this year and Hamburg in Q1, 2023.
Christian Dahlheim, the chief executive of Volkswagen Financial Services, said: “We are really excited that our customer-centric vision of future mobility materializes with the closing of the Europcar transaction.
“Its dedicated team brings important capabilities and assets to the table that help us to realize our plans swiftly.
“Our expectation is that by far most people will still prefer individual mobility by 2030, but it will be more about using and less about owning vehicles.
“Our new mobility platform will perfectly respond to this trend with a highly flexible and convenient offering at our customers’ fingertip.
“Autonomous vehicles will be the next gamechanger and lift the platform to an even higher level on the way to NEW AUTO.”
Europcar Mobility Group delivers its mobility solutions worldwide through a network in over 140 countries.
Volkswagen said that its NEW AUTO strategy would be rolled out in two phases.
The first part of the process will see Europcar Mobility Group’s five major brands – Europcar, Goldcar, InterRent, Ubeeqo and Buchbinder – brought together on a single mobility platform for consumers, backed by Europcar’s fleet management capabilities and a network of stations at major airports, railway stations and important city locations
In the second half of the decade, phase two of the plan will bring the introduction of autonomous vehicles.
Volkswagen said this development would “enable entirely new services and lift the business to an even higher level of efficiency and profitability”.
Early last month travel, technology and transformation executive Peter Gowers was appointed as the new chairman of the management board and group chief executive officer at Europcar Mobility Group.
Fleet News reported that Gowers, who replaced Caroline Parot, has more than 25 years’ experience in leading both listed and private businesses in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
He joins Europcar from European budget hotel operator Travelodge, where he recently served as chief executive.