Uber's Makeover

Ride-hailing app Uber reworks its image in Germany

Man ordering a ride in Poland
If only Uber could appear in Germany the way its cars appear from the app. Source: Uber

Uber has an international image problem and fixing it in Germany, a country whose citizens values their privacy to such a high degree, might be harder than the company thinks. The ride-hailing service app company’s data breach in 2016, which led to private data being stolen from 57 million customers wordwide, and their attempted cover up did little to boost their reputation.

While the head of Uber’s Europe division Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Cotry did not disclose how many Europeans, or Germans, were affected by the hack in an interview with Handelsblatt, he thinks the company’s change in management – CEO Dara Khosrowshahi replacing Travis Kalanick – and a shift in values will make all the difference in appealing to overseas customers.

“We want to move from a phase of rapid growth to a phase of responsible growth,” Mr. Gore-Coty told Handelsblatt. One effort to appeal to the eco-friendly Germans is by introducing UberGREEN to Munich’s streets in 2018, which connects riders with electric cars. Solutions similar to UberGREEN will help reduce air pollution and severe congestion in highly-populated cities, Mr. Gore-Coty claims.

But not everyone is interested in the new and improved Uber. In September, London’s transport authority issued a huge blow when they declined to extend Uber’s city license saying drivers’ needs are neglected. With half of Uber’s turnover generated overseas, Great Britain and France are two of the company’s most important markets. The company is currently negotiating with regulators to get its license back.

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