China’s Ride-Hailing Firm Didi Looking Into Purpose-Built Vehicles

Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing is interested in creating purpose-built vehicles with established automakers for its host of services.

Speaking to Reuters on Tuesday, the ride-hailing giant said working with global automakers will allow it to improve ride-hailing and sharing platforms as mobility becomes increasingly important in the industry.

“Traditional automakers have different skillsets and understanding of the market, and those are all valuable to us. It’s not like only we understand the customer. We are open to every form of cooperation,” Didi’s automotive service platform general manager Kevin Chen said.

Didi’s huge fleet of vehicles currently consists solely of regular passenger cars, but the firm believes it will need its own bespoke vehicles as it expands its various offerings. These vehicles would most likely be plug-in electric hybrids or all-electric vehicles.

The company believes it could provide its customer and operational skills with automakers looking to develop ride-sharing services in return for helping to design purpose-built cars. While the mobility company has yet to say whether or not it’s had discussions with established automakers, unnamed sources claim Didi could collaborate with GAC Motor and electric startup CHJ Automotive.

Since buying out Uber’s Chinese operations in 2016, Didi has been by far the largest ride-hailing company in the country.

EDAG Light Car Sharing Concept Pictured

  • LWOAP

    If these purpose built vehicles look anything like that concept, keep in China.

  • hughie522

    What would be the point? Wouldn’t that just drive up the purchase price and make it harder to resell them once they become obsolete?

    • Status

      Once they become obsolete, they’re recycled, not resold to the public.

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