News & Analysis

BENTELER to secure major inI vestment for business expansion

8th February 2024
Sheryl Miles

The BENTELER Group is about to secure a multi-million-dollar investment to expand its autonomous mover business: TASARU Mobility Investments, a Saudi Arabian investment company specialising in automotive initiatives, intends to acquire a minority stake in the BENTELER subsidiary HOLON for a nine-digit sum.

The management of both companies signed a respective agreement. 

The planned acquisition of a stake of up to 38% in HOLON by TASARU will occur in several tranches, with the first one expected in April. The transaction is subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.

The funds from TASARU will be used to further advance the series development and industrialisation of the autonomous, fully electric, and inclusive mover. Specifically, the plan is to establish three production sites to market the vehicle worldwide: in Europe, Saudi Arabia, and the USA.

Ralf Göttel, CEO of the BENTELER Group: "What a journey for HOLON: 2023 started with the successful world premiere of our autonomous mover at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And now, 2024 starts with a strong partnership that will enable us to put the vehicle on the road as soon as possible. We are delighted that HOLON, one of BENTELER's entrepreneurial successes, has also convinced external investors and that the series development as well as industrialisation of our mover is now secured. Together with TASARU we will make mobility safer and more sustainable."

The HOLON Mover is a fully electric, autonomous vehicle for use on public roads. The vehicle travels at a maximum speed of 60 kilometers per hour and can accommodate up to 15 passengers. Areas of application are on-demand services such as ridepooling and ridehailing, but also normal scheduled services.

Michael Mueller, CEO of TASARU: "HOLON's revolutionary Mover aligns perfectly with TASARU's vision for a smarter and more sustainable future, supporting the ambitious targets outlined in Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030. Together, we aim to unlock the Mover's potential, bringing significant benefits to Saudi Arabia and other regions, establishing the Kingdom as a hub for autonomous mobility innovation and manufacturing."

Henning von Watzdorf, CEO of HOLON, added: "This is a significant step for HOLON. The partnership with TASARU will allow us to accelerate the further development, industrialisation, and scaling of our Mover. In 2024, the focus will now be on prototype development and initial test drives. Our goal is to have the first vehicles in use as part of pilot projects by 2025. Customer interest is immense: our vehicle makes safe, inclusive, emission-free and sustainable passenger transportation possible and is therefore the answer to traffic problems in cities, climate change and demographics."

The HOLON Mover is barrier free, offering an automated ramp, secured wheelchair space, and auditory and visual assistance for passengers. The design comes from renowned design company Pininfarina and the autonomous driving technology from the Intel subsidiary Mobileye. One of the first pilot projects for the use of the vehicle is the city of Hamburg, Germany. The Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport recently provided €26 million funding for a corresponding project.

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