UAE-based ekar bolsters Asian presence with Malaysia expansion

By Salma C, Intern Reporter
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Middle East’s first and largest car-sharing network ekar, is extending its presence in Asia with the Malaysian expansion plan of its car subscription service by starting in Kuala Lumpur.

Ekar’s proprietary car subscription service will be the first offering available, starting in Kuala Lumpur and followed by a roll-out strategy across Malaysia towards the end of 2022.

According to the official statement, customers can subscribe to cars via ekar’s ‘Self-drive Super App’ by having the flexibility of weekly or monthly (for up to twelve months) options with no down payments or long-term commitments.

Mr. Stas Betin, Chief Commercial Officer remarked that “The product-market fit for tech-enabled and cost-effective personal mobility is irrefutable. The Malaysian Finance Minister has stated that largely due to car ownership, 40 percent of millennials spent more than they earned, and 47 percent of Malaysian youths had high credit card debt.

“That, together with the smartphone penetration and internet usage, makes using ekar’s car subscription service a no-brainer,” Mr. Betin added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Vilhelm Hedberg Founder of ekart remarked that “Built modularly, ekar’s Mobility OS can easily expand the number of our product verticals available in each market, making localization efficient. That, together with our global support infrastructure, ensures seamless integration with relevant stakeholders to create optimal personal mobility solutions.”

The ekart Founder further added that “Travelers and expats traveling between countries can now enjoy the ekar experience seamlessly across borders. Our global footprint is growing, and we welcome the opportunity to provide world-class personal mobility services across MENAT and Southeast Asia.”

Ekar was founded in 2016 as a 15-car pilot program for Etihad Airways and has now grown to around 2,000 cars across the UAE and Saudi Arabia with plans to increase its fleet to 10,000 by the end of this year. The multi-country service is now used by more than 250,000 customers and booked an impressive 1.6 million trips with over 40,000 automobiles under management.

“A user selects a desired model on the ekar app, and a sterilized car is door-delivered within a 2-hour window. As an added benefit to the user, ekar’s subscription cars, which are tech-enabled cars from existing fleet owners and car rental companies, come with insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance and can be switched, traded up, or returned at any time,” Mr. Hedberg added.

Eker is planning to expand its service globally by the end of this year with Turkey and Egypt as well as Malaysia. Currently, eker operates in UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand. It also expects to launch a peer-to-peer car share in Malaysia by the end of 2022.

Related: Saudi-based Majd Investment acquires 25% of car rental firm Al-Wefaq