Following the closure of its Europcar transaction with consortium partners Attestor and Pon Holdings, Volkswagen is moving quickly to center Europcar as the kingpin of mobility provision, forming part of its NEW AUTO strategy based around new technology.
The auto giant expects Europcar Mobility Group to secure significant traction in the rapidly growing mobility services space. The company said Europcar would continue to service its existing customers while becoming critical to Volkswagen’s mobility platform in the future, offering everything from car sharing by the hour to flexirental over several months.
And Volkswagen is wasting no time on the proposition.
A partnership between Volkswagen, Porsche Bank, and Europcar in Vienna is slated to commence in Q4 2022, followed by a similar partnership in Hamburg for Q1 2023.
Christian Dahlheim, CEO 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.”
Volkswagen said it planned a central platform around which its group brands could offer mobility solutions depending on what was correct for each brand customer. There would be one app offering services from car rental and subscription to car sharing and ride hailing.
Step two in the development of mobility provision would be the introduction of autonomous vehicles to the platform, which would open up delivery of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and Transport as a Service (TaaS) to corporate as well as private customers.
Pilot projects with an autonomous ID. Buzz were already being undertaken in Munich and Hamburg, said Volkswagen.
Currently the Europcar Mobility Group offers a wide range of car and van rental services in more than 140 countries through five major brands: Europcar, Goldcar, InterRent, Ubeeqo, and Buchbinder.