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Business

VW sees huge potential in ridesharing business

Officials from German carmaker Volkswagen have announced a major investment in ridesharing company Gett, saying the deal of strategic importance. VW expects brisk business in this market segment.

Volkswagen said in Berlin on Wednesday that with its new partner Gett, VW aims to turn the ridesharing business into a new corporate pillar, taking the largest German automaker beyond its traditional roles of vehicle production and sales.

VW CEO Matthias Müller said ride-sharing systems had promising growth rates, making VW's investment in Gett "of strategic importance."

The Wolfsburg-based company, which is in the midst of a struggle to deal with the consequences of a scandal involving deliberate misreprentation of its diesel cars' air-polluting emissions, announced last week it had invested $300 million (269 million euros) in the Israeli ridesharing firm. Gett has a presence in 60 big cities around the globe, including London, Moscow and New York.

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Chief executive Müller announced Gett drivers would enjoy favorable conditions when buying cars from Volkswagen. Preferential treatment would also be granted for financing, insuring and maintaining such cars, he added.

VW is not the first to invest in ridesharing. Earlier this year, General Motors and Lyft unveiled a joint car rental service for drivers.

The world's largest auto maker by sales, Toyota, for its part signed a memorandum of understanding

to explore collaboration with Uber,

saying the Japanese were interested in "exploring new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to customers."

hg/nz (AFP, Reuters)

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