Shanghai (Gasgoo)- car2go, a Daimler-owned hourly car rental and car sharing service brand, has been pulled out of Chongqing, a major city in southwest China, an employee at car2go China Co., Ltd.’s Chongqing brand told a local media outlet.
“Our car2go business in Chongqing has been almost suspended, while we are still awaiting the formal notification from Beijing headquarters,” said the employee.
Some registered users even found out that the operator has already returned RMB 500 worth of deposit around two weeks ago. The signature blue-and-white Smart-branded cars are now rarely seen in this city.
In April 2016, car2go opened its first Asian location in Chongqing with a brand name “JiXing” (“set off immediately”). The Chongqing location in China is operated by car2go China Co., Ltd. under the umbrella of Mercedes-Benz Auto Finance Ltd.
Chongqing is wedged between mountains and two rivers, and is a city with quite insane traffic. During the past three years, “Jixing car2go” vitalized the city with its innovative free-floating carsharing concept that requires no starting price and fixed renting spots for consumers. Using smart fortwo vehicles, the car2go service offers great convenience to local inhabitants with its outstanding fleet’s flexibility. Since starting in early 2016, the metropolis has thus quickly established itself as the largest car2go location worldwide—no other city has more registered users.
Chongqing may be the city with the fiercest rivalry for carsharing service providers in China. Apart from car2go, there are a number of carsharing brands operating there, including Pandauto, Changan Travel and EVCARD. Car2go costs a bit more than other service brands.
According to relevant data, around 800 units of Smart fortwo vehicles have so far been deployed in Chongqing. In light of vehicle’s passenger room and powertrain, Car2go is somewhat weaker than other brands whose cars range from two-seater to five-seater and are driven by more diversified power sources—combustion engine or battery.
From the time being, car2go China Co., Ltd. has not officially announced the quitting plan yet. “Cars are temporarily not available for usage because the company is undergoing strategic adjustment,” car2go’s user service center said in response to consumers’ inquiries about the disappearing vehicles.
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