Uber in September announced it was closing Xchange Leasing, a subsidiary launched roughly two years earlier to lease vehicles directly to drivers. The venture was a massive failure as Uber was losing around $9,000 per car on average – far more than the $500 or so previously estimated.
On Tuesday, Uber moved one step closer to putting the mess behind it as it agreed to sell the venture to start-up car marketplace Fair.com, sources tell The Wall Street Journal (paywall).
Terms of the deal were not disclosed and neither party immediately responded to Reuters’ requests for comment although as part of the deal, Uber will reportedly take an equity stake in Fair and offer access to the service via its app.
The Xchange Leasing business had more than 30,000 vehicles in its inventory according to documents prepared for prospective buyers. The estimated value of the vehicles is around $400 million, we’re told.
Uber partnered with select automakers including General Motors and Toyota in late 2013 to launch a leasing program in the US. A few years later, however, Uber decided to cut out the middleman and lease directly to drivers through the Xchange Leasing program.
Uber is undoubtedly looking to put its tumultuous 2017 in the rear view mirror. The company was plagued by scandal and saw its co-founder and CEO ousted mid-year. Former Expedia chief Dara Khosrowshahi was hired to replace Travis Kalanick in late August.
Lead image courtesy itchaznong, 123RF