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Uber stops UberBLACK service in India, only available in Mumbai

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We missed this earlier.

Online cab aggregator Uber has shuttered its UberBLACK service in India, reports re/code. We’ve reached out to Uber for a response and will update if we hear from them. The report adds that Uber now offers UberGo, UberX and UberXL across its Indian cities. However, in some cities of its operations, Uber seems to offer its UberSUV option which populates cars like Toyota Innova and possibly Corolla.

However, this development might have taken place as early as 2014, a year after Uber launched in India, as reported by ET. In October 2014, ET stated that Uber seemed to have dropped its fleet of BMWs, Mercedes’ and Audis, instead adding Innovas and Corollas for UberBLACK. At that time, the company plied BLACK cars on a commission basis and charged Rs 200 as minimum fare, followed by Rs 18 per km.

UberBLACK was launched in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai and currently seems to operate only in Mumbai:

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A website points out that usually in the US, UberBLACK offered cars like the BMW 5 and 7 Series, different classes under Mercedes, Infiniti Q70, Lexus, Audi, Jaguar, Range Rover, Porsche etc. (more details here). In India, UberSUV offers cars like Innova and Honda Mobilo. It apparently shuttered UberBLACK in Hyderabad in January 2015.

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Uber launched its service with UberBLACK in the US, and was typically offering black cars, a for-hire vehicle segment for luxury cars where at least 90% of customers paid by a method other than cash. Uber maintains that it has 250,000 drivers on its platform across 26 cities in India.

Global diversification: Uber has diversified its offerings across the globe by accepting cash in India, offering helicopter rides in California, US, and even a US-Mexico border crossing service called UberPassport, albeit offering only one way rides. It used to offer UberAUTO and UberINTERCITY (between Pune and Mumbai, and on UberX which likely still works) in India, but canned both these services in December 2015, likely due to low demand. In the same month, it launched UberASSIST for the differently abled in Delhi. Meanwhile, it launched UberMOTO, its bike sharing service in Bangalore and Bangkok this year.

Other developments:

– Last week, Uber took its Indian competitor Ola to court for making false bookings on Uber by setting up fake rider accounts, misleading drivers through fake calls impersonating Uber and providing misleading information.

– Earlier this month, the company opened its first engineering center in Asia in Bangalore which would focus on developing India specific solutions for riders and drivers. In December Uber said it was looking to set up an engineering centre in Bangalore to offer solutions for the Indian market.

– The company also signed an MoU with the Haryana Government to introduce its ridesharing services (including private vehicle ridesharing) and help the government with “smart city” development in the state. It will invest Rs 120 crore or $17.8 million in the state for this and already has two MoUs in place with the Telangana Government and the Rajasthan Government to create employment.

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Also read:
– BuzzFeed’s Some Uber Drivers Feel Left Behind As Company Chases Lower Fares
– NBC’s Some Drivers See Red Over Uber Black’s Strict Rules on Car Upgrades

Written By

I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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