The Volkswagen Group is to take over WirelessCar, a Swedish telematics specialist, from Volvo, buying a 75.1pc stake to support its connected vehicle ecosystem. WirelessCar, founded in 1999 and based in Gothenburg, has developed a series of in-car services such as billing and concierge, safety and emergency, and remote diagnostics and breakdown: 3.5 million cars worldwide from different manufacturers are said to already be connected via its platform. It has around 370 employees worldwide, with additional offices in the US and China.
WirelessCar will become Volkswagen’s third major partner in its Automotive Cloud [depicted], alongside Diconium and Microsoft; it will specifically work on safe and stable data exchange between vehicles and the cloud, and on the future in-car device platform software architecture.
Christoph Hartung, Volkswagen’s head of digital & new business/mobility services, said in a statement: “Our aim is to develop Volkswagen into a mobility provider with a fully-connected fleet. Our customers will be able to use digital value-added services in their cars or on their mobile devices at all times. We are switching up a gear with this development… We are now really stepping on the gas and focusing on integrating the technologies.”
Martin Rosell, WirelessCar CEO, added: “Volkswagen has the most ambitious future strategy for connectivity in the automotive industry. This aspiration is the perfect match for our vision to lead the automotive industry into the digital society. We are highly motivated and willing to play our part to make a difference.”
Volvo Group CEO Jan Gurander, meanwhile, said of the SEK 1.1billion divestment: “This agreement will enable us to fully focus our resources and efforts on connected solutions for commercial vehicles.”