Without making too much fuss about it, the VW AG subsidiary, the world’s second-largest luxury automaker, has initiated two car sharing pilot programs, in Stockholm and Berlin.
Its two main German rivals, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and BMW have already branched out towards the car sharing sector, as people today increasingly divest from using their own car and are attracted to such services. The business models from Daimler – the Car2Go one-way rental service – and BMW’s DriveNow electric-vehicle sharing venture are more oriented towards mass-market users. The simply cater for city residents that don’t own their vehicle because of practical issues or because they don’t afford it.
On the other hand, Audi put a premium twist on its pilot services, as its two programs search another niche – the potential market for luxury car-sharing services that offer versatility and have clients that can afford the higher price tags. The Stockholm pilot – Audi Unite – makes use of a feature called automotive time share: three or four people use together a specially designed vehicle lease, they have a smartphone app to schedule who and when uses the car and pay accordingly. The other program, from Berlin, has been named Audi Select – one “owner” has access to more than one Audi cars and switches between them over a period of 12 months.
Via Automotive News Europe