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Volkswagen Australia has dipped its toes into the burgeoning ride-share market, joining forces with UniCar to become a preferred vehicle provider.

The pilot program for the service commences this week at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, where UniCar will offer vehicles from the Volkswagen range to customers and drivers.

“Ridesharing is but one facet of the way our industry is changing, as brands transition from being simply manufacturers and sellers of cars, to being able to offer a wide range of personal mobility solutions,” said Michael Bartsch, Volkswagen’s local managing director.

“Partnering with UniCar is a great first step as we continue to evolve to the industry and business needs of the future.”

UniCar’s initial pilot will utilise 16 vehicles from the Volkswagen stable throughout April, expanding to a wider fleet in the coming months.

The new ride-sharing company was founded in Singapore, and claims to have a customer- and driver-first focus, with a culture “built on sustainability and education”.

UniCar aims to offer flexible work arrangements for university students around their studies, drive-to-own new vehicles, and plans to work with the Australian Government to help pay off HECS debts.

Volkswagen’s move follows similar initiatives by other manufacturers, such as GM Holden – which launched its car-sharing partnership with Maven in Australia last September.

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