SEAT Acquires Carsharing Startup Respiro

Car maker SEAT acquired Respiro, a Madrid, Spain-based carsharing company.

The amount of the deal was not disclosed.

Founded in 2010 by Ian Paterson and Inés De Saralegui, Respiro provides a by the hour car rental service which had an annual turnover of €1.8m in 2016.

The operation will enable the company, which operates in Madrid on a pay-as-you-go basis, to expand to new cities in upcoming years, explore new channels and even further develop the business model.

With this acquisition, SEAT has entered the carsharing market, positioning itself as the Volkswagen Group’s mobility services benchmark in southern Europe.

In order to access Respiro vehicles, users have to register in the platform and take possession of a membership card to make use of the cars. The company provides utilitarians, compact cars, people carriers and vans for personal and professional use through an extensive network of pick-up and drop-off points located in carparks all over Madrid. 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 vehicles carrying the ECO label and fuelled with compressed natural gas.

Following the purchase, the entrepreneurial team made up of its co-founders, together with Francesc Delgado, a member of SEAT’s business development team, will lead the project and its 23 employees.



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