VW Group CEO Matthias Müller and MOIA CEO Ole Harms

VW Group CEO Matthias Müller and MOIA CEO Ole Harms

The Volkswagen Group on Monday (5 December) officially launched its new mobility services company at the Tech Crunch Disrupt technology event in London.

With MOIA, the automaker said, it is "systematically driving forward its transformation into a globally leading provider of sustainable mobility".

"MOIA will help us gain a deeper understanding of new forms of mobility and how to make them even more attractive in future, to offer a much broader scope than at present and totailor these services to suit very wide-ranging needs. Even though not everyone will still own a car in future, MOIA can help make everyone a customer of our company in some way or another," group CEO Matthias Müller said in a statement.

VW said the automotive industry is undergoing rapid change.

"Alongside the traditional automobile business, innovative, digitally networked mobility services promise a high growth dynamic. With MOIA, [VW] is laying the foundations throughout the group and across all brands for sustained success in tomorrow's world of mobility. The [group] intends to generate a substantial share of its sales revenue from this new business by 2025."

"MOIA is a stand-alone 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 CEO Ole Harms said.

The new company, which will be headquartered in Berlin, will begin operating with a team of around 50 – with this number growing fast up to the end of 2017.

"The metropolis of Berlin is the perfect location for a future-oriented and innovative company  because this is where we will find the creative minds and start-ups we need to establish our new business activities. We want to demonstrate that innovative mobility solutions are possible outside of Silicon Valley," Harms said.

The port city of Hamburg will be an additional location in Germany for MOIA. Last autumn, the group and the city agreed a three-year strategic mobility partnership to make urban mobility more environmentally-friendly, safer, more reliable and more efficient. The findings from this partnership will also be incorporated in future MOIA projects in Europe.

As part of the Volkswagen Group, MOIA can harness the product strength, innovation and infrastructure of the other 12 group brands.

The management team of MOIA is: Harms (CEO), Frank Dilger (CFO) and Robert Henrich (COO). An advisory committee chaired by Thomas Sedran, head of group strategy at VW AG, will support them.

"As customers' needs change, so does the automobile business model. In the world's major urban areas, there is an ever-stronger trend away from owning a vehicle towards shared mobility as well as mobility on demand. That is why the group anchored new mobility solutions and digital services as core elements in its future programme 'TOGETHER – Strategy 2025' in order to secure a position as a globally leading provider in this field, too", Sedran said.

VW said the biggest potential for MOIA, as a first step, is business in ride hailing via app. The group has a stake in Gett whose users can already instantly book on-demand transportation, delivery and logistics in around 100 cities.

"Together with Gett we are pursuing a clearly defined expansion strategy in Europe – only recently, three of the group's brands launched the first joint initiative with attractive vehicle packages for Gett drivers in the growth market of Moscow. Further markets will follow soon," Harms said.

MOIA is also focusing on the second major area: pooling. The company's goal is to set up its own on-demand pooling services via app – also known as connected commuting. The objective is "holistic" transport solutions that make individual transport and public transport more effective, thus avoiding unnecessary journeys and optimising use of the existing road infrastructure. This approach concentrates on cross- boundary transport. The first pilot projects in this field are scheduled to begin in 2017.