Just last week, the Volkswagen Group announced a USD 300 million strategic investment in global ride hailing provider Gett, paving the way to new approaches to mobility. Chairman of the Board of Management Matthias Müller stressed the importance of the strategic partnership at the DRIVE Volkswagen Group Forum, Berlin.
"The ride hailing market doesn't just promise high growth rates for Volkswagen, it also has a big strategic relevance. Ride hailing will be at the center of our new ‘mobility on-demand' business, which we are building up as the second pillar alongside the classic automobile business," Mr. Müller said. "Our investment in Gett gives us instant access to a service which people all over the world can benefit from."
Moreover, Mr. Müller added, Gett technology already contains algorithms that are incredibly accurate in predicting consumers' need for on-demand transportation. Based on that technology, Gett and the Volkswagen Group will work closely together to gain an even better understanding of users' mobility needs in cities and to offer tailor-made solutions. In that context, they will also explore areas of cooperation involving autonomous driving.
Volkswagen's global presence will help accelerate the pace and strength of Gett's international business. "The Volkswagen Group and Gett is a great strategic partnership, giving us access to 100 million Volkswagen automobile customers," said Gett founder and CEO Shahar Waiser. "We already provide the quickest, safest, most reliable on-demand mobility solution. Together with Volkswagen, we can further add to our range of products and services.
At Volkswagen, the joint growth strategy is to be driven by a special team led by Ole Harms, Head of New Business & Mobility. "We aim to establish ourselves side by side with Gett as the clear European leader in the ride hailing market. The new strategic partnership marks the point where the Volkswagen Group starts taking an active part in shaping the future of mobility. This is not just about linking up individual services, but about creating an integrated mobility ecosystem centered on people and the environment," Mr. Harms said.
The Volkswagen Group plans to offer attractive terms on Volkswagen automobiles for Gett drivers. Special package offers will conveniently pool various costs such as purchase or finance as well as the necessary insurance and servicing. Alongside brands such as Volkswagen, ŠKODA and SEAT, a special chauffeur service featuring premium brands, such as Audi and Porsche, is also being considered.
As key milestones in their future expansion, the two companies announced Gett's market launch in Germany and other countries across Europe. Gett services will then be on the roads of big cities in Germany such as Berlin from the first half of 2017.
For Volkswagen, the strategic partnership marks a significant initial building block in its Strategy 2025 to realign the Group for the future of mobility. The Volkswagen Group intends to generate a substantial share of sales revenue from innovative mobility services by 2025. Chairman of the Board of Management Matthias Müller is to present the new Group strategy in the second half of June.
Gett: Gett is an on-demand mobility company, changing how people move around and Gett things. A leading provider in Europe, Gett is available in more than 60 cities worldwide, including London, Moscow, and NYC. Gett's technology enables consumers to instantly book on-demand transportation, delivery and logistics. Gett offers the only full on-demand business mobility solution, Gett for Business, trusted by over 4,000 leading corporations worldwide. Gett has raised over $520 million in venture funding, and was selected by Forbes as one of the "top 15 explosively growing companies".