The Volkswagen Group is acquiring a 75.1% majority stake in the Swedish telematics specialist WirelessCar from Volvo with a view to making further advances in fleet connectivity. The sales price amounts to SEK 1.1 billion (US$122 million). Completion of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2019 and is subject to approval from antitrust authorities.
WirelessCar registered in Gothenburg was founded in 1999 and has been a wholly-owned subsidiary by Volvo since 2007. The Swedish company has a workforce of some 370 IT experts worldwide and is acknowledged as a leading specialist in vehicle connectivity. WirelessCar has its own technology platform and also develops digital services, including concierge and billing services (e.g. tolls) as well as safety and emergency services (e.g. remote diagnostics, breakdown services). Worldwide, some 3.5 million vehicles from various car manufacturers are connected via this platform.
The Volkswagen Group is using WirelessCar’s connectivity technology to drive the development of the digital ecosystem, where the Volkswagen brand is spearheading development for the Group in cooperation with technology partners. The goal is to provide full connectivity in future vehicle generations and develop value-added services for customers that they can access via the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud. WirelessCar joins Microsoft and diconium as the third major technology partner involved. (Earlier post.)
Volkswagen is developing the cloud-based platform together with Microsoft, and designing a customizable marketing platform (service platform) for all digital services with diconium. More specifically, WirelessCar technology will enable safe and stable data exchange between the vehicle’s operating system and the cloud-based platform, and forming an essential basis for the future software architecture in the vehicle (Device Platform).
Our aim is to develop the Volkswagen into a mobility provider with a fully-connected fleet. Our customers will be able to use digital value-added services in their cars or on their mobile devices at all times. We are switching up a gear with this development and have gained WirelessCar as the third major partner. We are now really stepping on the gas and focusing on integrating the technologies.—Christoph Hartung, Head of Digital & New Business / Mobility Services at the Volkswagen brand
Volkswagen is our ideal partner for the next stage in our development. Volkswagen has the most ambitious future strategy for connectivity in the automotive industry. This aspiration is the perfect match for our vision to lead the automotive industry into the digital society. We are highly motivated and willing to play our part to make a difference.—Martin Rosell, CEO of WirelessCar