The Volkswagen Group is investing in the German digital specialist diconium and acquiring 49 percent of the shares in the company. With this participation, the Volkswagen Group will be securing further know-how and strengthening its digital business capabilities. Together, the two companies will continue the development of Volkswagen’s business models and digital added-value services.
Diconium will therefore become a key technology partner for the development of new digital services available via the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud. The completion of the participation transaction is still subject to approval by the anti-trust authorities.
Volkswagen Automotive Cloud to be the basis of digital value-added services in the connected vehicle
With diconium as a technology partner, the Volkswagen Group is taking the next step in its digitalization efforts. The objective is to offer customers digital value-added services quickly and easily for their vehicles, which will then be fully connected. The Volkswagen brand has taken the lead within the Group and is developing the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud together with Microsoft – this will link the connected vehicle, the cloud-based platform and digital services.
“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,” says Christoph Hartung, Head of Digital & New Business / Mobility Services of the Volkswagen brand. “For this purpose, we are taking technology partners on board to assist us with development. Together, we will offer customers a wide and convenient range of services that they can use with their mobile devices or in their cars. With diconium, we have secured the support of a strong technology partner with substantial experience and considerable competence in the development of digital sales solutions.”
Among other activities, Volkswagen and diconium intend to launch a global online sales platform allowing Volkswagen customers to purchase and manage all the upcoming “We” services and on-demand functions for their connected vehicles. The functions available will include multimedia streaming, automatic payment for fuel, battery charging and parking, and over-the-air updates.
Strong digital business capabilities important for implementation of new dealer contracts
Volkswagen will also cooperate with diconium on strengthening its digital business capabilities and implementing the items agreed in the recently signed dealer contracts. These provide for close cooperation between the manufacturer and dealers in the consistent digitalization of sales processes and vehicles. Together, Volkswagen and diconium will develop possible projects such as the provision of a software and platform landscape for modern customer and data management.
Andreas Schwend, The co-founder and co-Managing Director of diconium, says: “We are looking forward to supporting a global player like Volkswagen as a key partner in the development of new, digital business models in the future. Through our partnership with Volkswagen, we have also secured clear long-term prospects for diconium, our employees and our existing and new customers. In the future, Daniel Rebhorn and I, as the company founders, will continue to be responsible for the development of our company and for safeguarding our agile culture in the future together with the diconium management team.“