High Gear: Shared mobility spurs Volkswagen to go beyond 'four wheels'
Updated 22:19, 30-Aug-2019
CGTN's Global Business

Shared mobility has been increasingly popular these days. Even though the trend will hurt the growth of auto sales, it is not a bad story for the industry, especially if automakers, suppliers, and other mobility players take steps and find their position as soon as possible.

German auto giant Volkswagen for example, has entered a rivalry with its subsidiary Urban Mobility International (UMI). UMI's CEO Philipp Reth is bullish on potential of share mobility market, adding that Volkswagen is not just four wheels going forward, but will grow accompanied by various digital services.

It's been a tough few years for Volkswagen. And Reth considered that shared mobility will be "a piece of the puzzle" in the path to spur Volkswagen's growth.

"We see huge potential in shared mobility market," he told CGTN, adding that the company mainly focuses on car sharing but is expanding to the sharing service .

"The daughter company is supposed to deploy and operate mobility solutions for Volkswagen, currently under the brand 'WeShare'. But going forward, we think we will be beyond just car sharing and beyond 'WeShare'," he told CGTN.

VCG Photo.

VCG Photo.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen announced its ambitious plan to offer an electric version of all its 300 models by 2030. Reth is confident that "we foresee a conversational service."

But at this moment, one of the major steps is whether "elector-mobility or zero-emission car can truly make big difference," he remarked, forecasting that with the development of robot cars, the industry might see a whole "unification of services."

Moreover, Volkswagen is "on a great journey to transform from a mere producer of cars into also a software company," Reth revealed.

UMI CEO mentioned that Volkswagen has a very healthy mix of expertise and homegrown young talents, expecting Volkswagen to be going forward beyond the "four wheels."

"So definitely what you're going to see going forward from Volkswagen is not just four wheels, but it's a lot of digital services along. And I think we are at well position to take on that race and probably become market leader [in auto service sector] as well," Reth said on a positive tone. 

(Guy Henderson also contributed to the story)