Seat enters carsharing sector with Respiro acquisition
Seat is expanding its mobility services focus with the acquisition of Spanish car sharing firm Respiro.
Respiro specialises in pay-as-you-go car sharing in Madrid, and the acquisition – made for an undisclosed amount – will enable the firm to expand to new cities in upcoming years, explore new channels and further develop its business model.
The company currently has 15,000 active users and a mixed fleet of 200 cars, including electric, hybrid, CNG, LGP and low emission versions, which will gradually be replaced with Seat ECO label vehicles fuelled by compressed natural gas.
The acquisition marks Seat’s first foray into the carsharing sector as it continues to explore new mobility services.
President Luca de Meo said: “Respiro is a project based on a business model with potential for the company and it enables us to continue making progress in our commitment to finding and developing solutions for future mobility that are sustainable and efficient.”
He added that “this acquisition is the first step in our commitment to purchasing and participating in future projects that we feel are going to set trends in upcoming years”.
Seat’s work on new mobility solutions has also seen the carmaker partner with Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica to develop digitised mobility solutions for cities and urban areas while it also ran a month-long trial of a shuttle service in Barcelona last summer with start-up Shotl and transport operator Moventis.
Seat is also working to provide employees at its digital Metropolis:Lab in Barcelona with a test fleet of electric eMii prototypes under a carsharing initiative.