Daimler and Geely jointly unveil premium ride-hailing service StarRides

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 03 Dec 2019

Daimler Mobility and Geely Technology Group, a subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (the company that also has stakes in Volvo Cars) has unveiled ‘StarRides’, a premium ride-hailing service in China. The inaugural services will begin in Hangzhou early this month.

They chose the city of Hangzhou as it is home to some of the leading Chinese companies including Geely Holding and other leading technology businesses and has a population of more than 10 million people. Under the 50:50 joint venture, the services will be launched in the city of Hangzhou with a fleet of 100 vehicles including Mercedes-Benz S-Class, E-Class and V-Class vehicles. StarRides is planned for expansion to other major cities in China starting in 2020.

Daimler Mobility and Geely Technology Group will be equally represented on the board of management of the new ride-hailing service, for which the two companies have developed the software infrastructure required to support the business in China. A joint board of directors includes Liu Jin Liang, CEO of Geely Technology Group, and Joerg Lamparter, member of the board of management of Daimler Mobility. Tom Gu joined StarRides on September 1, 2019 as chief executive officer, leading a staff of 80 employees.

Joerg Lamparter, board member Daimler Mobility for digital & mobility solutions, said, “Premium ride-hailing is an essential element in our mobility ecosystem ranging from multi-year financing contracts to flexible leasing, car rental and subscription models to on-demand mobility. With Geely Technology Group, we have found an excellent partner to expand our mobility ecosystem in China. StarRides will play a significant role in addressing customer needs in the premium ride-hailing segment and solidifying our strong position in the mobility market.”

Liu Jin Liang, CEO of Geely Technology Group, said,  “We are proud to launch China’s first premium ride-hailing services in Hangzhou, the city where Geely Holding is based – and a city that is home to companies pioneering technology innovation in this country. StarRides is the latest symbol of our cooperation with Daimler, which we expect to create win-win opportunities for both companies. It also reflects Geely Holding’s continued transformation as a mobility and transport technology company.”

Customers can download the StarRides App in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Daimler reports that the ‘mobility chauffeurs’ of StarRides are trained by top chauffeur trainers, consistent with global standards, and have compliant driving licenses for online ride-hailing services. They are uniformly and neatly dressed and well-experienced, some of whom are premium service personnel capable of speaking Chinese and English when serving international users.

It has been reported that Daimler and Geely Holding are establishing a 50-50 globally-focused joint venture to own, operate and further develop 'smart', the pioneer of small urban vehicles, as a leader in premium-electrified vehicles.