MUNICH – Volkswagen says it will launch its 13th stand-alone brand, which will be focused on urban shared mobility solutions.
Johann Jungwirth, VW’s chief digital officer, reveals plans for the new brand at the TU-Automotive Europe 2016 conference, telling WardsAuto later the new marque will be unveiled in two weeks.
“It’s about mobility solutions focused on mobility-on-demand specifically, and that is where we are covering our investment and partnership with Gett,” he says.
VW earlier announced it had invested $300 million in Israeli-startup Gett, a ride-hire service similar to Uber and Lyft.
A city partnership scheme already is in the works with Hamburg in northern Germany, Jungwirth adds, and VW is working on creating more partnerships as the mobility brand is rolled out.
While reluctant to disclose too many details, the VW executive admits the brand will draw on existing VW products and not necessarily will be battery-electric vehicles.
“It’s not about the product itself, because it will draw from the products of the existing 12 Volkswagen brands,” he says. “Because the 13th brand is the mobility brand. I cannot yet disclose which of these products will be used and which cities will be involved.”
The venue for the launch of the new brand also has not been finalized, but the nerve center of the operation is in place, Jungwirth reveals.
“I can say our new mobility solutions entity to be responsible for the 13th brand is headquartered in Berlin, where we have a whole team in place with (the) CEO and (chief technology officer) and the rest of the team working really hard to prepare for the launch,” he says.