Volvo hitches up to Yongche for China rental ride
Looking for cachet on wheels but don’t have the cash? Want arrive in comfort but don’t have much room to move on the budget? A Volvo rental could be the answer.
Online car rental service Yongche has teamed up with the Geely-owned Swedish carmaker to offer rides in the Volvo S60L. Users can upgrade the experience with value-added services such pre-arranged music or a cup of coffee. Passengers can even decide if they want a chatty or quiet driver, according to IT news website DoNews.
It sounds like a service that would be out of reach for most but charges start at an affordable 20 yuan (US$3.20) for each half-hour plus 4 yuan per kilometer.
That may not be a very lucrative business for Volvo but partnering with one of the biggest car rental companies in China could be a new way for the carmaker to expand its customer base inside the country.
Users are more likely to appreciate the vehicles’ generous legroom and higher quality if they have had a chance to take one on a long trip. They could then generate positive word of mouth for the brand or even become a Volvo buyer down the track.
For Yongche, the offer is a chance to strengthen its challenge to the incumbents without building a fleet. Yongche has got this far without owning a single car — the platform matches idle cars from offline small and medium-sized car rental companies with customer requests. Getting Volvo on board will certainly add to its product breadth and competitiveness.
Yongche founder Zhou Hang said Volvo is the group’s first car brand partner, and it will team up with other interested lines in the future.
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