Volkswagen Moia Will Focus on Ride-hailing and Car-sharing

Volkswagen plans to expand its new mobility-services division into a business with billions in revenue as the German carmaker seeks salvation in ride-hailing, autonomous driving and electric cars in the wake of the diesel-emissions scandal, according to Bloomberg. Moia, Volkswagen’s 13th brand, will initially focus on ride-hailing and car-sharing and will roll out its services in two European cities next year before possibly expanding to other regions.

Moia aims to be one of the world’s three biggest mobility providers and to generate revenue of “a couple of billion” of euros in a few years, Ole Harms, the Volkswagen unit’s head, told reporters. “We’re a startup with VW group’s resources and we have a global aspiration,” Harms said ahead of the unit’s official unveiling. Volkswagen is open to selling a minority stake in Moia, in which it has invested an amount in the “significant three-digit million-euro range,” he said.

Volkswagen, still recovering from the emissions-cheating scandal while transitioning into an era of robotaxis, has been cutting costs to free up funds for developing electric cars, self-driving technologies and mobility apps. The German automaker has been late to innovate, taking its first step in May to expand beyond its traditional business of manufacturing and selling vehicles by investing $300 million in ride-hailing provider Gett. By contrast, Daimler founded car-sharing service Car2Go in 2008 and has since added public-transit and cab hailing apps.

Making Moia a separate brand in a lineup that includes Audi and Porsche underscores VW’s strategic revamp to move beyond the scandal and prepare for a tectonic industry shift toward electric cars with new digital features that allow piloted driving or finding free parking spaces via apps. Moia’s first car, which could be battery-powered and feature autonomous driving options, may be ready before 2021. Company, based in Berlin, will have about 200 employees by the end of next year compared with 50 now. Volkswagen plans to generate a “substantial part” of its revenue with mobility services by 2025, according to the statement.

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