The Generation EQ concept provides a preview of future Mercedes cars (Photo: Daimler)
PARIS -- Major carmakers are founding new mobility brands as theyÂ look for ways to complement and even replace traditional revenue from new car sales.
At the Paris auto show last week, volume car makers Volkswagen Group and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, and premium car groupÂ Daimler each announced Â new brands and business units that would handle a growing range of mobility services.
Volkswagen has embarked on a strategy that puts heavy emphasis on mobility services, electric vehicles and digitization, as Europe's largest carmaker tries to disentangle itself from a diesel emissions deception that is costing it billions of euros.
"Our new group brand is to rank among the leading mobility services providers and become the market leader in Europe by 2025," VW Group CEO Matthias Mueller said in Paris. AÂ name for the new division, VW Group's 13th, hasn't yet been decided.
France's PSA is also moving headlong into new mobility, uniting all its mobility and connected services under a new brand called "Free2Move." The brand marks "a new chapter in our history, the s tart of a major transformation," PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said.
"Our goal is to start providing mobility services as early as today to clients with whom we already have a relationship, representing 15 million people in 2015 alone,"Â he said.
PSA is working closely with a range of partners to develop car-sharing and other new mobility services. It has tasked management board member Gregoire Olivier with overseeing a new mobility services department within the group.
Daimler is also adoptingÂ a fundamental change toÂ its business as the maker of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars embraces digitization and electric vehicles. At the Paris show, the company said it is bringing its core strategies together under the acronym CASE, which stands for connected, autonomous, shared & service and electric drive.
"To guarantee theÂ logical fusion of all four future trends, we are bringing together the respective activities in a new, legally separate entity," Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said.
In addition, Zetsche said all Mercedes-Benz electric-mobility activities will be bundled under a new "EQ" brand. EQ will over time provide a comprehensive offering that includes intelligent services, energy storage units and charging technologies.
Mercedes showed a concept vehicle, Generation EQ, in Paris, which features new infotainment functions, inductive charging and a range of automated driving functions.
-By Arjen Bongard