Uber’s challenges in Germany have been well documented, but the startup might have a deeper problem there — one that runs counter to its big differentiator in markets like New York.
In most U.S. cities, Uber drivers operate cars and SUVs that are in significantly better shape than taxis.
Not so in Germany, where the taxis are Mercedes.
This has created a strange situation for Uber. In the U.S., it’s hard to not be aware that the company is undermining the traditional taxi business. But in Germany, Uber is…invisible?
Bloomberg included this comment in a recent report on Uber’s German woes:
A September survey by weekly newspaper Die Zeit found that 73 per cent of Germans weren’t interested in a service like Uber even if it was much cheaper. “I don’t notice competition from Uber at all,” said Rainer Wieblitz, a 30-year taxi veteran in Munich who drives an E-Class [Mercedes]. “None of my customers have ever mentioned them.”
Uber is up against a lot of things as it tries to remake mobility. But indifference isn’t typically one of them.
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