It was bound to happen, wasn’t it, that being the likes of Volkswagen as a major car manufacturer entering the ride-sharing space? The German manufacturer which needs no introduction at all has teamed up with Gett, a ride-hailing taxi app to create a mobility services brand, MOIA, which is to operate as a standalone brand.
VW cars dealership Inchcape Volkswagen walks us through how the Volkswagen Group’s 13th brand is going along and how exactly it could alter the way we approach lift-sharing, electrification and autonomous cars.
What is MOIA?
The 2016 TechCrunch Disrupt London show saw the introduction of MOIA by Volkswagen, with the name coming from the ancient Sanskrit word for “magic.”
German capital city of Berlin will be the brand’s headquarters and it was established just months after the revelation that the Volkswagen Group had pumped a $300 million investment into Gett.
The pair has since commenced with a partnership that aims to go beyond just the building of cars, with plans to achieve end-to-end services as well. The brand already has ambitions of becoming a market-leading mobility service provider by 2025, targeting pooling shuttle and ride-sharing services.
Ole Harms, the chief executive of the MOIA brand, commented: “MOIA is a standalone 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.”
MOIA’s Proposed Deadlines
While the company is still in its infancy, workers involved with MOIA are already looking at a few targeted dates for some milestones, with 2017 seeing the official launch of the brand, bringing with it the brand’s introduction into two European cities. The exact locations are yet to be revealed, but late 2017 is earmarked to see the first purpose-built electric vehicle revealed under the MOIA brand.
By 2021, plans made are for MOIA to have established mobility services, with 2026 targeted to have the MOIA brand operating as one of the top three mobility providers. For this to be achieved, the brand aims to have a fleet of over a million autonomous, app-summoned electric vehicles in full operation.
The Apparent Ride Sharing Schemes Race
The Volkswagen Group is not the only auto manufacturing company to enter into the ride-sharing sphere as a targeted area of serious development, with the likes of Daimler, BMW, Toyota and GM also at it. BMW and Daimler have both made provision for the funding of apps and start-up services which are related to the ride-sharing industry, while Toyota has entered into a partnership with and invested in Uber. Not to be outdone, General Motors has poured $500 million into Lyft as part of their investment.