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Indian Popular app-based cab Ola likely to announce new initiative with Mahindra Group

Anand Mahindra, the Chairman of the $17.8 billion Mahindra Group, said the arrangement will also fulfil the current and future needs of Indian consumers

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Ola Cabs. Image source: Flickr

Sept 11, 2016: Automobile maker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Ola, the app-based cab service provider, announced a tie-up on Thursday to sell Mahindra vehicles worth about Rs. 2,600 crore to Ola-affiliated drivers over two years on easy financing terms. The agreement between the two entities envisages selling the vehicles to about 40,000 drivers by 2018 at “special” prices, along with other benefits.

“Ola’s driver partners can now avail of an integrated and attractive ‘Mahindra-Ola’ package which will include Mahindra cars at special prices, attractive financing with zero down payment, and the best NBFC interest rates, subsidized insurance premiums, comprehensive maintenance packages, as well as exclusive benefits on the Ola platform,” M&M said in a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Thursday.

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Anand Mahindra. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Anand Mahindra. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Anand Mahindra, the Chairman of the $17.8 billion Mahindra Group, said the arrangement will also fulfil the current and future needs of Indian consumers, particularly younger ones who prefer shared mobility solutions, said to Reuters.

Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said that the partnership will pave the way for similar arrangements in the future. M &M shares closed at Rs. 1,485.50, down 0.21 percent.

The company sold 18,246 passenger vehicles in August 2016, 29 percent more than the 14,198 units sold in August 2015. Pravin Shah, President and Chief Executive (automotive), Mahindra & Mahindra, said that the upcoming festival season will boost sales for the company.

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According to Reuters report, M&M is also involved in manufacturing tractors, two-wheelers, and electric cars. Recently, the company renamed its electric car business as Mahindra Electric. Ola and global rival Uber have burned through money to capture market share in India, one of the world’s fastest growing taxi markets worth nearly $12 billion.

Ola, last year in 2015, announced a tie-up with Nissan Motor India to buy and lend cars to its drivers. And last month, Tata Motors’s parent Tata Group, became the first Indian carmaker to tie-up with Uber. Overseas, General Motors in January announced a $500 million investment in Lyft, with plans down the road to develop an on-demand network of self-driving cars.

– prepared by Shayari Dutta with inputs from various agencies

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Ola Launches Self-drive Cab Rental Service in Bengaluru

The service will also include roadside assistance, to ensure a reliable, secure and comfortable driving experience, the company added

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Ola Cabs. Image source: Flickr

There is one more reason not to own a car now as ride-hailing major Ola on Thursday launched its self-drive cab rental service “Ola Drive”.

The service has been initially rolled out for users in Bengaluru, with Hyderabad, Mumbai, and New Delhi to follow shortly, the company said in a statement.

Ola Drive will appear as a new category on the Ola app. The service is being rolled out to users in Bengaluru through pick-up stations located across different residential and commercial hubs.

Users can choose to book a car of their choice for as little as two hours by paying a security deposit starting at Rs 2,000.

Ola said it intends to host a fleet of 20,000 cars by 2020 to build and scale up the Ola Drive service across several Indian cities.

Ola Cab.

“Ola Drive will play a transformative role in defining India’s car-sharing market in the next decade,” said Arun Srinivas, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Ola.

“In the first phase of its roll-out, Ola Drive will be offered as a short-term self-drive car-sharing service as we look to introduce long-term subscription, corporate leasing, and more options in the times to come,” he said.

All Ola Drive cars across segments will come equipped with Ola’s connected car platform ‘Ola Play’, enabled through a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment device, and will include GPS, media playback, and Bluetooth connectivity, the company said.

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Users will also have access to the platform’s support and safety features such as a 24/7 helpline, emergency button (which prompts an immediate call from Ola’s dedicated safety response team) and real-time tracking.

The service will also include roadside assistance, to ensure a reliable, secure and comfortable driving experience, the company added. (IANS)