The German car manufacturer says the technology within flinc will play a crucial role in extending its mobility service offered throughout Europe.
GM Ventures (GMV), the investment division of GM, will spearhead the investment. Deutsche Bahn will also join GMV and become an investor.
“For Opel this partnership is a decisive strategic investment. It will be crucial in the future to evolve from a product manufacturer to a provider of networked mobility,” said Opel Chief Marketing Officer Tina Müller.
In fact, the two companies already launched an internal ride-sharing pilot project in March for Opel employees based in Rüsselsheim. Currently, 9,000 rides per month are shared, and the company says the internal program was also further expanded last month.
No doubt, Opel’s foray into the realm of ridesharing comes as a direct response to the popularity of driver-based ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.
While Opel’s approach is more inline with Lyft, by pairing those who need a car with those who have a car, the company looks to quash the “I don’t need a car” mentality by baking a sharing service into the car-buying experience from the get go.
Opel says it is the first manufacturer “to introduce a car sharing app for everyone”, where both Opel and non-Opel drivers alike can share their rides.
Starting in 2016, flinc will provide the platform so that rides can be shared via CarUnity. We expect more details on flinc, CarUnity and Opel’s foray into mobility in the coming months.