Companies

Ola, Uber prop up sales of carmakers

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 12, 2017

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Over 2 lakh cars sold to fleet operators in 2016

As car sales drop to a 16-year low in December, auto-makers are betting on cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber to stay afloat.

An estimated over-2.5 lakh cars were purchased in 2016 to be added to the fleet of Ola and Uber, which highlights how bad the auto sales figures would have been in the absence of these companies.

Dedicated teams have been formed by most auto-makers to support fleet services with special pricing, service plans and customisations to meet the specific needs of such companies.

Almost all major carmakers, including Maruti Suzuki, M&M, Hyundai and even Mercedes and BMW, have tied up with fleet operators.

“Since last year, we have added more than 1,50,000 cars on our platform and have seen tremendous uptake for all our various categories across the country,” said Pranay Jivrajka, COO, Ola.

While Uber declined to give exact number of cars it inducted in the last one year, it is estimated to be close to Ola’s. “We have added thousands of cars across multiple cities in India. These include top-performing hatchbacks from leading OEMs like Maruti, Tata, Hyundai,” an Uber spokesperson said.

Self-drive car firms

Sales are also being boosted by self-drive car companies such as Myles and Zoomcar, which again are adding thousands of vehicles to their network.

“We have 1,200 cars at the moment but in the next three years, we expect to grow that exponentially and cross 50,000 cars,” said Rajiv Vij, CEO, Carzonrent.

Fleet companies are taking advantage of their bulk buying capabilities to negotiate car prices on behalf of its drivers and offer up to 100 per cent financing. They are also supporting driver partners with registration and insurance costs while also making it easier to get auto loans, thus pushing more and more people to join the network. Uber is a fine example of this.

Uber, for example, cover preventative maintenance insurance and registration costs for the driver partners — all costs they normally would have to bear on their own.

Multiple car manufacturers are integrating Ola’s in-car entertainment and connectivity platform Ola Play in their vehicles.

Other customisations include special no-frills variants offered by various auto-makers to fleet operators in order to bring down cost, and brand designs painted on vehicles in the factory itself.

Published on January 12, 2017
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