Kia Motors Nigeria has entered into strategic partnership with Uber to provide lead generation software connecting riders to drivers in Nigeria.
The partnership is directly in line with the commitment to making the people become an Uber investor with an affordable state-of-the-art Kia model range.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria has remained one of the commercial hubs of Africa with an estimated population of over 150 million. As the most populous African country in the world, the need to provide a seamless means of transportation system to meet the requirements of the public is germane and this has galvanised the strategic partnership between Kia and Uber.
Globally over 100 000 partner drivers are currently operating on Uber’s network. Uber is not only changing the way people connect with their cities, but also creating thousands of investment and work opportunities along the way. To make this a success in Nigeria, Uber is leveraging the low maintenance cost of Kia vehicle to increase the adoption of its services in the cities in which it has presence across the country.
“In a bid to provide a stress-free transportation in the country and provide investment opportunities for our teeming customers, we have deemed it necessary to partner with an internationally acclaimed technology company, Uber, which gives optimum value to customer satisfaction and a maximised return on investment for investors. The company has remained at the fore in creating a technology platform that is customer-focused” said Managing Director, Kia Motors Nigeria, Jacky Hathiramani. He further stated that “Uber’s technology continues to transform the way millions of people move around their city and our partnership with the company is to give people the best-in-class Kia model range that gives exhilarating experience to passengers on the go.”
Uber is focused on building a service for hundreds of millions of Nigerians and creating investment opportunities. Premised on this, Kia’s leadership and experience in the auto industry will be crucial in helping the technological company to meet their goals.
As a part of the deal, interested Uber investors who do not want to make an outright purchase of the vehicle can avail the offer of an accessible financial scheme powered by Access Bank that gives 10% equity contribution, competitive equated monthly installment as low as N95,000 monthly, special pricing and flexible repayment tenure of up to 48 months.
Meanwhile,in other news; Apple just invested $1 billion in Didi, China’s Uber rival. The world’s most valuable company finally placed a bet on the global ride-hailing wars and it’s not for Uber.
Didi Chuxing, the Beijing-based ride-hailing firm that rivals Uber in China (also referred to as Didi Kuaidi), announced it has received a strategic investment of $1 billion from Apple.
“We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told sources “Of course, we believe it will deliver a strong return for our invested capital over time as well.”
In a conference call, Didi president Jean Liu said that Apple’s investment comes as part of an ongoing funding round for Didi that has yet to close. The deal was finalized at “lightning speed,” she says. Liu met Cook for the first time less than a month ago, in Cupertino, California
The investment presents numerous opportunities for collaboration between the two companies. Apple rolled out Apple Pay in China earlier this year, so it’s possible that the service will be placed in Didi’s app. Apple is also believed to be working on an autonomous vehicle of its own, so it’s possible the companies will work together to bring it to market. When asked about what specific new features or projects the investment would bring, Liu remained elusive.
“Tencent and Alibaba have been great supporters of Didi,” she said. “On payments and maps, in the future there will be more partnerships going forward. With Apple we are confident that with data science and technology the company will be pushed to a new level.”
The deal also marks Apple’s first official bet on a ride-hailing company. Didi is a member of an “anti-Uber alliance” that includes Lyft in the US, Grab in Southeast Asia, and Ola in India, as well as carmaker General Motors. It’s not unreasonable to speculate that Apple’s support will extend to these companies as well.
Apple’s funding also comes just as the company faces new challenges in China. iPhone sales in the country are not as stunning as they once were, and the government recently forced it to shut down its iBooks and iTunes services in China.
The investment marks a hurdle for Uber, which has not been as successful in China as it has in most other parts in the world. CEO Travis Kalanick has admitted to burning $1 billion a year in China , and while reliable data is scarce, reports indicate that Didi occupies somewhere between 70% to 90% of the ride-hailing market in China. Apple’s investment in Didi certainly won’t help Uber’s position in China.
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