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Volkswagen Group launches standalone mobility services company MOIA; initial focus on ride-hailing

The Volkswagen Group officially launched its new mobility services company MOIA. Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller previewed the formation of the new business unit during a presentation of the Group’s new strategic plan—TOGETHER - Strategy 2025—in Wolfsburg in June. (Earlier post.)

“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,” Müller said at the launch event in London. “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.”

Alongside traditional automobile businesses, innovative, digitally networked mobility services promise a high growth dynamic. Volkswagen says that MOIA will lay the foundations throughout the Group and across all brands for sustained success in tomorrow’s world of mobility. The Volkswagen Group intends to generate a “substantial” share of its sales revenue from this new business by 2025.

MOIA is a stand-alone company under the Volkswagen Group umbrella, and will develop and market its own mobility services either independently or in partnership with cities and existing transport systems. 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.

—Ole Harms, CEO of MOIA

The Volkswagen Group’s new company, which will be headquartered in Berlin, will begin operating with a team of around 50, with this number growing fast up to the end of 2017.

The metropolis of Berlin is the perfect location for a future-oriented and innovative company like MOIA because this is where we will find the creative minds and start-ups we need to establish our new business activities. With MOIA, we want to demonstrate that innovative mobility solutions are possible outside of Silicon Valley.

—Ole Harms

A further important location in Germany for MOIA will be the city of Hamburg. Back in the fall, the Volkswagen Group and the Hanseatic city agreed a three-year strategic mobility partnership to make urban mobility more environmentally-friendly, safer, more reliable and more efficient. (Earlier post.) The findings from this partnership will also be incorporated in future MOIA projects in Europe.

Furthermore, as part of the Volkswagen Group, MOIA can harness the product strength and innovative power as well as the infrastructure of the other 12 Group brands.

The management team of MOIA is made up of Ole Harms (CEO), the former Head of New Business & Mobility at Volkswagen Group; Dr. Frank Dilger (CFO); and Robert Henrich (COO), who will take up his post on 1 January 2017. An Advisory Committee chaired by Thomas Sedran, Head of Group Strategy at Volkswagen AG, will support MOIA’s leadership team.

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.

—Thomas Sedran

Volkswagen said that the biggest immediate potential for MOIA is in ride hailing via app. The Volkswagen Group already opened the way for new mobility concepts with its stake in Gett, one of the world’s leading ride-hailing providers. (Earlier post.) Gett app users can already instantly book on-demand transportation, delivery and logistics in more than 100 cities worldwide.

Together with Gett we are pursuing a clearly defined expansion strategy in Europe—only recently, three of the Group’s brands launched the first joint initiative with attractive vehicle packages for Gett drivers in the growth market of Moscow. Further markets will follow soon.

—Ole Harms

At the same time, MOIA is also focusing on the second major area, namely the pooling business. The company’s goal is to set up its own on-demand pooling services via app—also known as connected commuting. The objective is holistic transport solutions that make individual transport and public transport more effective, thus avoiding unnecessary journeys and optimizing use of the existing road infrastructure. This approach concentrates on cross-boundary transport. The first pilot projects in this field are scheduled to begin in 2017.


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