PSA Group's new mobility services division will rely on inexpensive partnerships and investments in startups for the services it will bring to market, CEO Carlos Tavares said
The automaker is creating a brand called Free2Move to group together its new transport offerings in areas such as car-sharing and peer-to-peer car rentals.
It has set side just 100 million euros to invest in mobility services, an amount that Tavares concedes is low. He said forming partnerships with fresh and nimble technology startups is a better solution than investing heavily to do the work in-house.
"We see that some of our competitors are investing billions while we are investing 100 million. We are looking for talent, both from our partners and in our company," Tavares said Wednesday at an event on the sidelines of the Paris auto show.
"This means that we prefer to work with small and very talented startups with new and fresh ideas. Other companies will decide to enter the market at a more mature level, which is acceptable for them, but we want to start at the core, by working with partners with fresh ideas."
What mobility services will be on offer in the future has yet to be defined, Tavares said, but the technology base PSA will develop with its partners will meet the market needs for emerging apps and solutions.
PSA also announced it has made an investment stake in Canada-based Communauto, which offers car-sharing services in North America.
The French carmaker has a partnership with Bollore Group. Bollore also uses Citroen C-Zero EVs in its car-sharing fleets in Lyon and Bordeaux in France.
PSA recently formed a partnership with telematics solutions provider Masternaut and is working with the France-based software developer Euratechnologies.
PSA also is investing in peer-to-peer car rentals companies Koolicar and TravelCar and it has a partnership with IBM as part of the Smarter Cities project in Nice, France, and in Belgium.