Uber may be under investigation for car purchase

Uber may be facing more legal problems in Singapore over car purchase made by Lion City Rental (LCR).

The Business Times reported that there have been talks going on that the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) has called up both former and current Uber/Lion City Rental staffs over past LCR’s car purchases.

Lion City Rental owns the largest fleet of private-hire vehicles that stands at about 15,000. Popular car models such as Honda Vezel and Toyota Sienta were purchased from parallel importers as authorised dealers were not selling them in Singapore. The Business Times reported that they were bought from 4 main parallel importer car companies. Uber Singapore was recently in the news with one of the parallel importer when they took to the court to settle a legal dispute over late delivery of vehicles.

3 Middlemen in the sale process

It was also reported that a parallel importer claimed that the sale of cars was done indirectly and they had to go through 3 middlemen. Both CPIB and Uber spokesperson refused to comment on the allegations.

“Eventful” year for Lion City Rental

Lion City Rental has had an eventful year to remember in Singapore. They were embroiled in allegations that they were aware of their Honda Vezels were defective and caught fire. After claiming that all their defective Honda Vezels were fixed, LTA came out to refute the claims that the cars are rectified.

Almost 2 months ago, LCR was in the news again for disposing of a fleet of 500-1000 vehicles. Many drivers were worried that the ride-sharing giant might be pulling out of the Singapore market after a year of turmoil in Uber. Market observers were more optimistic in the move and claimed it was a move to reduce excessed and old inventory.

LCR is currently running its largest promotion to date, the LCR Suresave rental program to attract new and old drivers to rent from LCR. The program also dangles a big carrot incentive for taxi drivers to convert to private-hire. The LCR Suresave promotion was expected to be a hit but its effort was partially thwarted by Grab’s own promotion where they offered a massive rental discount for Comfort Taxi Drivers. In the latest update, there are an estimated 3000 Comfort Drivers potentially jumping ship to Grab.

Source – The Business Times