German automaker Audi said Thursday that it has acquired Silvercar, an Austin-based airport car rental business whose fleet consists entirely of silver Audi A4 sedans.
Audi had taken a stake in Silvercar last year, leading a $28 million investment in the company.
In addition to Austin, Silvercar operates in about a dozen other cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York, Phoenix and San Francisco. It was founded in 2012, first serving Dallas, and has about 150 employees, most of them in Austin.
“Audi and Silvercar share a vision for the future of transportation,” said Matt Carpenter, Audi of America’s chief financial officer. “This acquisition enables Audi to move forward with a progressive partner and continue our technology leadership into the next era of mobility.’’
From the start, Silvercar has focused on technology, allowing travelers to skip the airport rental car counters and head straight to their cars. Reservations are made using a mobile app, and customers use their smartphones to unlock their cars.
Each car features free Wi-Fi, GPS and satellite radio, among other amenities.
Audi and Silvercar said they plan to continue to innovate in the months and years ahead.
“The intersection of transportation and technology, influenced by changing demographics and innovative consumer models has created an exciting new world of mobility,” Silvercar CEO Luke Schneider said. “We are thrilled to become part of Audi, to enhance its leadership in this space.”
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