Volkswagen to take on Uber

German giant’s new standalone company MOIA to offer car-sharing; target of one million autonomous electric vehicles by 2026

Volkswagen is to enter the sharing economy, following a £300 million investment in carpooling firm Gett and the launch of its 13th company, dubbed MOIA.

VW recognises that the model for car ownership is changing, and “not everyone will… own a car in future”. By offering a ride-hailing and carpooling service, MOIA will “help make everyone a customer of [VW] in some way or another”.

But MOIA – which means ‘magic’ in Sanskrit – has bigger aims than simply being a competitor to popular ride-hailing company Uber. It’ll also produce its own vehicles, with the first purpose-built MOIA possibly arriving “late next year,” featuring electric and eventually autonomous technology.

It’s expected the company will concentrate on shared car journeys at first, where a group of two or more strangers share a car based on their pick-up and drop-off locations – in much the same way Uber Pool does now. When a customer wants to travel somewhere on their own, MOIA is expected to outsource the job to Gett.

VW’s latest brand will sit somewhere between private car ownership and public transport, offering most of the convenience of the former alongside the low costs associated with the latter. MOIA has huge ambition, too, aiming to establish itself as one of the three largest mobility providers by 2026, with over a million cars on its books.

MOIA’s chief executive, Ole Harms, describes the company as having a startup mentality, but “with VW group’s resources and… a global aspiration”.

Volkswagen isn’t the first car company to buy into the sharing economy: Toyota invested heavily in Uber last year, while General Motors – parent company of Vauxhall – pumped over £300 million into ride-sharing company Lyft at the start of the year.

MOIA will introduce its services in “two European cities” in 2017. It aims to “work closely with existing public transport systems”, hoping to avoid the animosity companies like Uber have experienced when going up against local businesses.

Most Popular

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year
2022 Citroen Ami
Citroen Ami
21 Sep 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks