Indian app based taxi aggregator Ola has announced that it has entered into an agreement with German automobile manufacturer BMW for improving Ola’s luxury mobility segment. Under the deal, BMW India will offer cab operators a 360 degree solution that covers both pre and post sales ownership with support throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle. Further BMW Financial Services India will provide 100% financing for upto 4 years at low interest rates. The agreement also has provisions for BMW certified instructors who will train cab operators on auto safety systems and technology. This follows Ola's deal with SUV manufacturer, Mahindra & Mahindra that was announced last month.
Speaking about the deal Frank Schloeder, President, BMW Group India stated, "At BMW, we always look to the future. Our vision enables us to identify the trends in our business early on. The way people move is changing and this is also true for the premium clientele. Individuals want quick access to mobility without compromising on quality and comfort. We are confident that this association will be a game changer in the premium on-demand mobility segment in India. BMW is the most aspirational luxury car brand and through this association, an increasing number of customers will be able to relish the immersive BMWexperience."
“We are delighted to partner with BMW, a brand synonymous with luxury in India. Through this partnership, Ola will strengthen its presence in the luxury mobility segment; an area that we believe has tremendous potential. With the inclusion of BMW cars in Ola fleet, our customers will now have an opportunity to travel in complete luxury at the click of a button. Together with BMW, we have come up with very attractive proposals for our operators that will enable them to enter the segment with ease. BMW India is providing a 360solution to Ola cab operators, which offers easy financing, aftersales support and assured buy-back for the car thereby securing their investment. For a better customer experience, certified BMW instructors will train drivers about the versatile capabilities, technology, safety systems and features of BMW cars in detail. We look forward to growing our association with BMW and taking the Ola ‘Lux’ service to a greater scale throughout the country,” Pranay Jivrajka, Chief Operating Officer, Ola added.
Ola Lux cabs will be available at a minimum fare of Rs. 250 and Rs. 20-22 per/km. Customers will also have the option to rent the cars on an hourly basis, through Ola's Rentals feature. Other features include SOS buttons, Wi-Fi, live tracking and the option of using Ola Money to pay for the rides.
This is the latest instance where a global automaker has tied up with a ride sharing company, in what is being perceived as a shift of consumer preference towards convenient public transport. Auto giants such as Volkswagen, Toyota Motor Corp and General Motors have announced similar agreements earlier. Internet giant Google too has signed deals with both Ola and Uber, allowing customers to look for cabs online. Users will be able to ask Google for directions and then book a ride directly via Google search. Furthermore, users will also be able to find out the fares for ride services from on-demand cab services, along with the fare estimates and pick up times if a cab is nearby.