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Jaguar Land Rover launches InMotion subsidiary to develop car sharing services

Jaguar Land Rover launches InMotion subsidiary to develop car sharing services

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The UK's Jaguar Land Rover is launching a wholly owned subsidiary called InMotion, which it describes as "a new technology business that builds apps and on-demand services to overcome modern travel and transport challenges." In other words, it's a so-called mobility company — a popular trend in the transportation industry right now — that will handle ways to get around that don't involve owning a car in the traditional sense: car sharing, ride sharing, and so on.

At present, InMotion is just a 30-person operation based in London, but JLR promises that it will start testing various programs across North America, Europe, and Asia "in the coming months." Such programs are typically associated with mass market vehicles, whereas JLR falls squarely into the luxury and near-luxury automotive market — but it's owned by Indian giant Tata, which may give it some leverage to deploy more affordable cars into its programs, at least in some markets. (It's also notable that rival BMW just launched its ReachNow car sharing system in Seattle last week using a selection of BMW and Mini models.)

Spinning up wholly owned subsidiaries to handle non-traditional car ownership models may become a larger trend, as automakers seek to preserve their core businesses — making cars — while giving the higher-tech parts of the company more latitude to experiment and thrive with less bureaucracy. Ford recently spun off its mobility services into a separate company under that mindset, and a number of other companies — Daimler, for instance, with its Car2Go car sharing business — have taken similar routes.