Volkswagen sells WeShare to German car-sharing tech startup Miles Mobility
German automaker Volkswagen AG is selling its WeShare car-sharing business to German tech startup Miles Mobility GmbH. The sale is part of the effort by Europe’s biggest automaker to pull back from what has largely been known as an unprofitable sector. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As part of the deal, the Berlin-based startup will order more than 10,000 electric cars from the Audi, Seat/Cupra, and VW brands. In addition, Miles will also integrate WeShare’s 2,000 VW-branded electric vehicles (EVs) into its mostly combustion-engine fleet of 9,000 cars, the two companies announced Tuesday.
Miles also ordered 10,000 EVs from Volkswagen. The deliveries are due to begin in 2023. According to Bloomberg, “VW’s decision to offload WeShare grew out of the realization that it wouldn’t be able to improve profitability beyond 2022.”
In a statement, the Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen Financial Services AG, Dr. Christian Dahlheim, said: “New mobility services such as car subscription models and car sharing are enjoying strong demand. This is a trend in which we would like to participate more. With a strong partner to operate the fleet and with vehicles from various Volkswagen Group brands, car sharing will become available to an even broader spectrum of customers. We are pleased to have found the perfect partner in MILES, whose portfolio will be bookable via the Volkswagen mobility platform. WeShare customers will then benefit from car-sharing services in eight German cities.” Dahlheim holds consolidated responsibility for the Volkswagen Group’s core activities in the field of mobility solutions.
Miles is currently active in Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, and Potsdam. Two sites in Brussels and Ghent have been added in the fall of 2022. In the course of the future integration, it is planned to continue evolving the Miles fleet in line with the electrification of the Volkswagen Group. WeShare currently operates around 2,000 all-electric Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 vehicles at its Berlin and Hamburg locations – with a total of more than 200,000 users. The present Miles fleet consists of more than 9,000 vehicles, around 70 percent of which are supplied by the Volkswagen Group.
Oliver Mackprang, CEO of MILES Mobility GmbH, explains: “The electrification of the fleet is a key pillar of the Miles strategy on the path to sustainable urban transportation. With the acquisition of WeShare and its integration into the Miles ecosystem, we are making a significant step in the right direction. We are pleased to expand our long-standing collaboration with the Volkswagen Group through this mobility partnership.”
Founded in 2016 by Alexander Eitner, Florian Haus, and Timo Nuehrich, the Berlin-based Miles is an independent carsharing and modern mobility company. It is one of the few exceptions in the industry. Miles is currently active in eight German cities. The company recently expanded to Belgium earlier this year.