With automakers scooping up tech and mobility companies left and right, it's no surprise that Volvo found a big-time buyer when it wanted to divest its majority stake in a connected-car company.
Volvo Group has sold 75.1 percent of the shares of WirelessCar to Volkswagen Group. The deal cost VW Group 1.1 billion Swedish crowns (approximately $121.5 million). It should be noted that Volvo Group does not include Volvo Cars, which it sold off in 1999 -- Volvo Group's focus is trucks, buses and construction equipment.
WirelessCar is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volvo Group. The company offers a connected-car platform along with a variety of services that include concierge, billion and safety services. Approximately 3.5 million vehicles worldwide use WirelessCar's platform.
VW Group will integrate WirelessCar's platform into its own ecosystem, in an effort to expand connected-vehicle offerings in future vehicles. To that end, VW is currently working with Microsoft to develop a cloud platform that will handle these services. The company believes WirelessCar's platform will "enable safe and stable data exchange between the vehicle's operating system and the cloud-based platform."
The deal isn't done just yet. It still needs to be approved by European authorities, which VW expects to happen in the first half of 2019. The money Volvo Group makes from this sale will likely be put right back into the company's efforts to develop electric and autonomous solutions for its heavy vehicles. We'll see those efforts bear fruit through the, which will be tested in California in 2019 before going on sale nationwide in 2020.