Porsche on-demand? VW boss reveals Gett plans

 
Lynsey Barber
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You could be riding a Porsche with just a tap of an app soon (Source: Getty)

Fancy ordering a Porsche to get home, instead of a plain old car or cab? Volkswagen's partnership with on-demand Uber rival Gett could very well make that a reality.

VW boss Matthias Mueller has revealed more about the tie-up between the car maker and the tech company announced last week, and that could include making a high end app for ordering a ride in one of its many car brands.

Read more: Volkswagen invests $300m in Uber rival Gett

"In the future, what is to stop Gett drivers from chauffeuring their customers through the world’s megacities in a Porsche Panamera or an Audi A8 with a special premium version of the app?" he said at an event in Berlin on Wednesday.

"Our investment in Gett gives us immediate access to a service which people all over the world can benefit from. Not only that, this digital business model is scalable within a short space of time. Volkswagen’s global presence will help accelerate the pace and strength of international business," said Mueller.

"The first step will focus on Germany and other European countries. And we are in a position to give licensed Gett drivers access to vehicles from our Group brands at special terms and conditions. So we will be combining the two worlds of mobility - the classic and the new."

Gett will launch in Germany, VW's home turf, in the first half of next year as well as into further European markets as the manufacturer seeks to generate a "substantial" share of sales from "innovative mobility services" over the next decade, putting the emissions scandal behind it.

VW this week revealed a near 20 per cent drop in profits for the first quarter, while sales and revenue also inched lower in what Mueller described as a "transitional year" after the scandal. That will see it move away from simply car manufacturing and into the more general area of mobility, which will come under a new business unit.

Read more: Toyota invests in Uber to launch ride-sharing partnership

The two firms will work together to explore delivering goods, rather than people, expanding upon existing schemes such as its champagne and salads on-demand in London, while they "will in future work on the big technology trends such as artificial intelligence and autonomous systems".

"Our investment not only harnesses a new market, it also taps into a technology with a potential that goes much further than just organising ride services. For example, it isn’t only people who want to get from one place to another fast – the same applies for goods. That is another booming market – and Gett delivers attractive solutions. Gett technology already contains algorithms that are incredibly accurate in predicting when and where which form of transport is required in urban centers."

Gett drivers will be offered what's being called "attractive terms" on VW vehicles, covering purchase finance, insurance and servicing, with high end marques such as Porsche and Audi being considered for a premium service.

Mueller is due to reveal his strategy for the car company in the coming month.

VW is not the only car maker to see a future in technology. Shortly after the $300m deal with Gett was announced, Toyota inked a similar deal with Uber and BMW with California-based carpooling service Scoop, while GM had already linked up with Lyft earlier this year.

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