Uber is one of the most prominent companies in the world, yet the ride-sharing service has hit some snags along the way. After a lengthy regulatory dispute in China, the company decided to seek greener pastures. Latin America is their new center of focus right now, where Uber has seen some mild success in the past. Their new bold plan sees the Latin American presence increase to 200 cities by the end of 2017.
A Bold Gamble By Uber Amid Regulatory Scrutiny
Latin America has been somewhat kind to Uber and its service in recent years. Mexico City is the service’s busiest city, followed by Sao Paolo. Over the past 12 months, the number of rides in these regions has increased tenfold, and that growth is not stopping yet–plenty of reason to divert more attention to expanding in Latin America.
To be more precise, Uber wants to offer its service in 200 Latin American cities by the end of next year. Right now, their service is active in 92 locations, although not all of them are big successes. Then again, the region is prone to disruption from all sides, and with a proper business plan, Uber can make a big impact over the coming months.
What makes the ride-hailing service so popular in Latin America is its sense of security. Regular taxis are often used for kidnapping individuals and tourists, whereas Uber tracks driver progress and behavior at all times. Moreover, the automated checkout process removes the need for cash payments, adding more security for drivers as well.
Given the recent fallout in China, it only makes sense for Uber to look for greener pastures. In fact, the company was forced to sell their ride-sharing business in China to their biggest competitor, Didi Chuxing. But with regulatory scrutiny becoming too much of a hassle with no improvement in sight, one has to take a loss to improve the rest of the business.
Unfortunately, this planned expansion will not be without its hurdles in Latin America. Very few residents use credit cards, forcing the company to temporary deal with a cash payment option. Even though this is the least secure form of payment in the region, it is also a necessity for Uber to maintain growth across the area.
Moreover, there is some fierce ride-sharing competition going on in Latin America as we speak. Cabify is just one of the other companies offering a similar service, even though they target an entirely different crowd. Additionally, it is only a matter of time until new regulation will make life difficult for Uber and consorts in the region.
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