In order to get more car on roads, Uber seems to be planning to take advantage of its car leasing programme. According to a report in Livemint, the company has invested Rs. 43 crores in car leasing firm Xchange Leasing India Pvt. Ltd. during the period of January to March this year.
Referring to the documents filed with Registrar of Companies by Xchange Leasing, the report says that the firm got Rs. 10 crores on January 20 from Uber International Services Holding B.V and its subsidiary Mieten B.V. These same entities invested another Rs. 33 crores into the leasing company on March 29.
The documents also revealed that Xchange Leasings was already working with Uber in the US and South Africa. It also had Mohd. Akbar Khan as a common director on its own board as well as Uber India’s.
Last year in December, it was reported that Uber had partnered with Xchange Leasing to launch its car leasing programme in India. Earlier, Joshua James Waldron, Director of financial reporting at Uber, had joined Xchange Leasing India’s board as a director in November. These were subtle hints building upto the announcement today.
The ride-hailing service already has a global car leasing programme in partnership with automobile companies General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp.
The car leasing programme offers cars to drivers interested in working for Uber but do not have a car of their own. They have to pay a security deposit of Rs. 30,000 – Rs. 35,000 to be a part of the programme and then pay a monthly lease payment. Drivers also have the option to own the car after completing 3 years of operation.
Such programmes allow drivers to borrow on cheaper interest rates in addition to serving the purpose of increasing taxi cabs on roads. Through the program, taxi companies also get to have drivers serving exclusively for their platforms as opposed to general practice, where drivers normally run their cars both for Ola and Uber.
In India, Ola was the first company to launch car leasing programme in September last year. Like Uber, it also partnered with automobile makers such as Nissan and Datsun.
It aims to add over 100,000 drivers through the leasing programme and eventually get more car manufacturers on board. In fact, Ola has plans to invest a massive 5,000 crores towards this initiative.