The UK's Jaguar Land Rover is launching a wholly owned mobility subsidiary called InMotion, with the purpose to enter the car sharing business.
According to The Verge, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) describes its new subsidiary InMotion as "a new technology business that builds apps and on-demand services to overcome modern travel and transport challenges." The mobility company follows a popular trend right now in the transportation industry. Ride sharing and car sharing are modern alternatives to owning a car in the traditional sense.
The London-based InMotion is at present just a 30-person operation. However, Jaguar promises that in the coming months it will start testing various programs across Asia, Europe and North America. JLR focuses on the luxury and near-luxury automotive market, while such programs are associated usually with mass market vehicles. But JLR's owner, the Indian giant Tata, may give the automaker some leverage to deploy more affordable cars into the mass market vehicle programs.
Major car manufacturing companies seek to preserve their core businesses while giving more latitude to experiment to the higher-tech parts of the company. Wholly owned subsidiaries with role in handling non-traditional car ownership models may become a larger trend in the auto industry.
According to Management Today, with JLR entering the car-sharing business, the competition among the auto giants is moving up a gear and Uber might need to watch its back. JLR's subsidiary unit inMotion is working with former Google employees.
JLR has indicated that will invest significantly to boost technological developments. This is a sign that the auto industry is ready to keep pace on future innovation with companies like Uber.
Car sharing services are already offered by Liftshare, BlaBlaCar and Uber. JLR may seem to arrive late on the market. But the big brands in the auto industry strive to find the best niches where they can fit into the market. BMW and Daimler have both launched car sharing services in America, while General Motors bought driverless tech group Cruise and took a stake in taxi-hailing app Lyft.