As part of the changes (and relentless PR) that has accompanied the diesel emissions cheating scandal, Volkswagen Group has announced that it has created a new subsidiary to be focused on the “ridesharing” (on-demand taxi) services sector, according to recent reports.
The currently unnamed subsidiary will reportedly involve a partnership with the startup Gett (previously GetTaxi) — which currently operates in ~70 different cities worldwide. VW Group previously invested $300 million into the startup.
Interestingly, VW Group is also reportedly working on the creation of its own shuttle service.
Autoblog provides more: “The name of the 13th brand and more information on the subsidiary will be released in November. VW Group also announced plans to give Gett drivers in Moscow, Russia ‘preferential terms’ on a Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Jetta, Skoda Octavia, or Skoda Rapid. VW Group’s 13th brand sounds similar to Mercedes-Benz’s Vision Van Concept, which the automaker would allow consumers to lease and purchase the vehicle, as well as rent its services on a short-term basis. While the Vision Van Concept is a commercial vehicle that has delivery drones on the roof to aid deliveries, VW Group’s shuttle service sounds more like autonomous buses to ferry people around.”
How much of this is actual company intent? And how much is simply PR? Who knows when dealing with VW Group. We’ll have to wait and see. Given the that so-called “ridesharing” services such as Uber and Lyft are clearly changing the nature of personal transportation within many major cities, one would think that the company is taking the threat and the need for change seriously.
Image: screenshot via Gett