Volkswagen expands capability as mobility service provider

According to the official page, Volkswagen is going to acquire Europcar. Volkswagen is one of the world’s leading automakers and a leader in the transition to the zero-emissions future of mobility. On the other hand, Europcar is a major provider of mobility services including vehicle hire and car sharing.

This transaction will provide a compelling opportunity to create a leading mobility platform. Also, it aims to effect a successful transformation of Europcar and deliver new and innovative mobility solutions. Nowadays, customer demand is changing and growing rapidly.

What’s more, Volkswagen helps Europcaer manage the business with a balanced governance structure and leverage the strengths of each consortium partner. Though Volkswagen will have a majority shareholding in the joint holding company, it will neither control the consortium nor Europcar.

Volkswagen has a clear vision of the acquisition

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess mentioned as follow in the press release.

“The mobility market is changing rapidly. This is because customers increasingly demand new and innovative on-demand mobility solutions. They are subscription and sharing models to complement car ownership. That is why we made building a leading mobility platform. In fact, it is a key priority of our recently announced NEW AUTO strategy through 2030.

Europcar provides advanced fleet management capabilities as well as a broad network of stations at airports, railway stations and cities. As a result, it will be able to help accelerate Volkswagen’s delivery of its ambitious mobility services targets. Together with our consortium partners Attestor and Pon, we will support the development and transformation of Europcar’s business.”

Other partners share their intentions

Jan-Christoph Peters, founder and owner of Attestor mentioned as follow in the press release.

“With its strong market position, Europcar has the potential to become a leading platform for individual mobility concepts in Europe. As one of its largest shareholders, we already supported the recently completed financial restructuring of the Europcar Mobility Group.

Alongside Volkswagen and Pon, we are now taking the next step helping the business to develop into a sustainably successful and innovative company. As a result, we hope it leads in the fast-growing mobility sector.”

Janus Smalbraak, CEO of Pon Holdings mentioned as follow in the press release.

“Since our transformation to an international mobility group, we have experienced the power of multi-offering of mobility to customers. We cover the business areas that are cars, bikes, scooters or other mobility services.

We strongly believe in the potential of operating one integrated platform, in which flexible mobility services will be a key element. We are happy to be part of the consortium, being able to contribute to the creation of this new Volkswagen mobility platform, with Europcar as a strong basis. As a result, this new step further strengthens the long and close relationship between Volkswagen and Pon.”

Mobility as a Service

As we see the other article, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) disrupts the automotive industry. For example, thanks to the car sharing services, younger people do not own their cars. Of course, in rural areas, vehicles are infrastructure for people to move to other places. In this sense, most of them need cars. However, in the city, some research reported that 90% of automotive is idling. In other words, we are using vehicles for 2.4 hours per day for the average. In fact, we do not ride vehicles, when we are in the buildings or eat something in restaurants.

Therefore, there are rooms for improvement, when it comes to the utilization of assets. In other words, we will be able to find opportunities to improve our mobility life. As a result, we can expect more mobility services will be produced. However, organizational capability to create mobility services is totally different from that to manufacture automotive.

Volkswagen has two objectives in general. On one hand, the company wants to keep a major player to offer automotive, especially electric vehicles. On the other hand, the German automotive giant tries to be a mobility service provider. To realize these ambivalent objectives, it must speed up to enhance its capability. This is because the company is competing with new players other than the traditional industry including Waymo, the subsidiary of Alphabet. This acquisition is also one way to speed up. Thus, what will Volkswagen do the next?