Volkswagen May Develop Its Own Ride-Sharing Service to Rival Uber
Volkswagen is hesitating to throw more money into Gett, an Israeli tech company that runs a ride-hailing platform for taxis. Instead, the German automaker may be shifting toward developing an in-house ride-hailing service, reports Bloomberg.
VW has already invested $300 million in Gett, but has not decided to commit to the company's latest funding round. That's causing other potential investors to back away, according to Bloomberg. Instead of freelance ride-share drivers, Gett links riders with regular taxi cabs. The service is already available in more than 100 cities, including New York, London, and Moscow.
Volkswagen will not comment on its plans for Gett, but the automaker has gotten more involved in ride-hailing services recently. Last year, it launched Moia, a new division tasked with developing mobility services.
It's become a common refrain among analysts that ride hailing will gradually erode car ownership, something that could be both a threat and an opportunity for automakers. While people might buy fewer cars, automakers could create new forms of revenue by operating their own ride-hailing services.
VW isn't the first automaker to investigate these types of services. General Motors created its own mobility brand, Maven, which currently offers car sharing and low-cost rentals to Uber and Lyft drivers. Maven is also reportedly mulling a ride-hailing service that would directly compete with Uber and Lyft. Ford operates the Chariot shuttle service, and plans to launch self-driving cars for ride hailing in 2021.