After implementing it in the US, Uber has now brought its car leasing program to its second biggest market, India as well. Under this program, the US-based upstart will be leasing out cars to its driver partners, in a bid to get more onboard and expand its current 25 city presence.
Interestingly though, Ola — one of Uber’s biggest rivals globally, already has a similar car leasing program in place in the cities it operates in.
Sources close to this development told Mint, that Uber will initially commence this leasing program in Delhi and Mumbai, in partnership with Mumbai-HQed Xchange Leasing India Pvt. Ltd., which will also own all of these leased out vehicles.
Further details came to light when Livemint unearthed a few documents, revealing that Uber’s director of financial reporting Joshua James Waldron joined Xchange Leasing India’s board as a director on 7 November. Further to that, Xchange India has also put up a few job listings on numerous job portals, looking for Leasing executives proficient in talking to drivers and partners about company’s leasing programs.
As of now, Uber drivers in India run their own, fully-owned vehicles — thus restricting a few lower income drivers to join the platform.
As a part of the leasing program, Uber will ask driver partners to pay a 30,000-35,000 security deposit with monthly leasing payments. While the company partnered with Toyota and General Motors for this program in the US, no such confirmed partnerships have happened here in India as of now. But again, looking at how commonly used are Tata and Maruti Suzuki cars among Indian drivers, these two could well be the first brands Uber may partner with.
In the US, Uber runs a similar program by allowing its manufacturer partners access to driver cashflow data and helping them decide whether or not there is risk involved in a particular plan.
We’ve mailed Uber for an official statement on the same and will update this story when we receive a reply.