VW Digital Player Stake to Boost Service Offerings

Volkswagen is boosting its connected car potential with an investment into a digital business model specialist.

The German car giant is acquiring a 49% stake in diconium, a specialist in the holistic development of digital business models which is clearly targeting exploration of on-board services that would engage motoring consumers.

Together, the two companies will continue the development of Volkswagen digital services and diconium will become a partner for the development of digital services via the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud. The completion of the participation transaction is still subject to approval by the anti-trust authorities.

VW says its objective is to offer customers digital value-added services for their vehicles, which will then be fully connected. Christoph Hartung, VW’s head of digital and new business/mobility services, said: “At Volkswagen, we intend to expand our core business sustainably and to offer our customers more and more tailor-made digital value-added services in and around their vehicles. For this purpose, we are taking technology partners on board to assist us with development.”

Among other activities, VW and diconium intend to launch a global online sales platform allowing customers to purchase and manage upcoming “We” services and on-demand functions for connected vehicles. The functions available will include multimedia streaming, automatic payment for fuel, battery charging and parking and over-the-air updates.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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