North East car share operator drives expansion plans with new European partnership
Revealed today (April 10), Newcastle-based Co-wheels Car Club has become part of the Oply car sharing network expanding across Europe.
Co-wheels is now part of Oply UK Limited, a new joint venture with investment from ExaMotive SA, a European mobility provider, and SAIC Motor, owners of British motoring brand, MG.
Co-wheels currently operates car sharing in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK to enable people to benefit from socially inclusive, affordable and low emission mobility as a practical alternative to private car ownership.
Under the deal, directors Richard Falconer and Paul Balmont will continue to lead the Co-wheels operation and spearhead accelerated growth and service improvements.
Richard said: “Mobility is developing at a rapid pace and we are determined to ensure Co-wheels is at the forefront, whilst ensuring our members continue to be offered the best user experience.
“For some time we have been searching for partners who could help us achieve this vision at a pace faster than would be possible on our own and we are delighted to become a part of the Oply network and be working with partners who share our ideals and vision.”
It also delivers fleet management to major corporate and public sector organisations to improve fleet utilisation and efficiency, reducing costs associated with ‘grey fleet’ mileage.
The move will reportedly allow ‘rapid’ expansion of the fleet in both new and existing locations as well as resources to improve services.
SAIC Europe’s vice president, Jerry Hong, concluded: “Investment in both ExaMotive and Co-wheels is an important milestone to build-up our partnership with a shared mobiity player. The user focused solutions of Oply and Co-wheels will help us as an OEM better understand customer needs and preferences towards mobility services and technology.
“We expect our new MG full electric products will be part of ExaMotive and Co-wheels’ fleets and will be well accepted by customers in the near future.”
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