Audi plans to acquire Silvercar, a U.S.-based car sharing startup that was founded specifically to address the high-end airport rental car market. The company’s fleet is already made up exclusively of Audi A4 cars, so it’s not exactly going to be a dramatic upheaval in terms of Silvercar’s offering.
Audi also already has a minority stake in the company, since an investment it made in the smaller company back in 2015. Austin-based Silvercar has also boosted its North American presence to 15 different airport locations since that investment, and the goal of the acquisition is not only to continue to grow Silvercar’s core operations, according to Audi, but also to expand Audi’s mobility services offerings in the U.S. market in general.
Already, Audi offers Audi on Demand in certain markets in the U.S., which provides white glove short-term rentals to travelers on-demand. The pickup of Silvercar, which has around 150 employees based in its Texas HQ, seems to be Audi’s shortcut for accelerating those mobility plans, and possibly also for giving them a central brand around which to coalesce.