Just as owning a car is turning into a lower level priority or simply because people can’t afford one, in many cities around the world, Uber and its rivals have been gaining ground with their easy-to-use smartphone ride sharing apps.
For example, taking just Uber Technologies Inc. into account (one of the best-known and most controversial such services), the San Francisco-based company won allegiance in cities around the world because it offers cheaper rides in better cars. There’s one place though where the strategy is not working as well – Germany. That’s because the all-mighty luxury sedans – mainly Mercedes-Benz offerings, rule the country’s taxi fleet. The Daimler AG brand – the world’s third largest premium automaker – has around 60% of the German taxi market – and most of them are $51,800 E-Class models. In comparison, Uber’s German fleet is predominantly made out of Golf compacts or even lower segment cars, with the cars even a decade old – the taxi fleet has an average age of just 3.5 years.
The US technology company is undergoing a full global expansion, just as it has been valued at being worth as much as $40 billion. But they won’t get an easy win in Germany. “I don’t really know anything about those drivers or the cars they’re driving,” said Boris Knoblich, a 40-year-old marketing consultant in Berlin.