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Uber in France

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The whole world is a potential lucrative market place in which international companies can succed if they do it right. Some of them are very fortunate when it comes to expanding in countries abroud, others less. Most of the times the failure is caused by not choosing the right marketing strategy. Firms can suffer a lot by not adapting to the foreign countries needs. They are either being perceived as redundant, they are not noticed at all or getting a lot of criticism and dishonor. In all three situations the companies get confronted with failure and huge losses. This essay will show a well example of an outstanding american company who did not satisfy the public opinion and failed partly while expanding in France.
The above mentioned company is Uber Technologies Inc. Uber is the most popular mobile ride hail company in the world. It was founded by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009 in San Francisco. and now operates worldwide. The service of Uber is divided into three divisions: Uber Black, UberPop and Uber Taxi. There are different rates for the different services. Uber Black was the first offered service and it was concentrated primarly to have professional drivers in middle and upper class cars driving the customers. The company then soon expanded their service and offered an inexpensive service where people can offer their own cars and driving customers (Uber Pop). In some cities Uber has regular Taxis and Taxi drivers (Uber Taxi). Unlike conventional Taxis Uber cars are not recognizable as such. Contact between customers and drivers are only possible via the smartphone app or the website. It is extremely easy to use: Once you are a registered you can not only see where your Uber-driver is, but also how long the ride is expected to be and what it will cost. First a driver or private driver will be ordered. The way will be charged with the help of GPS, so the cars has no taximeter. The payment process is omitted. The customer pays via the App and the Driver gets payed via the App. It is simply loaded at or from the Uber credit card. Uber offers its services significantly cheaper than the competition. The rates at UberPop are generally 20 percent below the normal taxi fares and 20 percent of the ticket price goes to Uber. "We just wanted to push a button and get a ride," he said. "And we wanted to get a classy ride. We wanted to be baller in San Francisco. That’s all it was about." Article: Uber CEO Founded The Company Because He Wanted To Be A 'Baller In San Francisco' (Nov 12, 2013)Retrieved from: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-travis-kalanick-founded-uber-2013-11
Platforms like Uber, where consumer have the chance to offer sharing their goods or services are part of the so-called sharing economy on the Internet.The Harvard economist Martin Weitzman coined the term sharing economy in the mid-1980s. He defended the thesis that the wealth for all increases, the more they share their goods and services. By creating the Uber App, founders Kalanick and Camp tried solving different problems that exist in the Taxi industry. Unreliable service Payment Issuespoor customer serviceGetting from point A to Point B is expected. People only talk about products and services that are extraordinary Lack of safety, fear and trust
Author: Adam Lang, Article: Why is it called Uber? (August 12, 2014Retrieved from: http://www.rewindandcapture.com/why-is-it-called-uber/
In December 2011 Uber expanded to Paris. It was the first City outside the United States they expanded to. Soon after that it launched their services in more cities outside the United States. Today Uber operates in over 200 cities worldwide and the network keeps growing.It is not surprisingly that most of the Taxi drivers are not enthusiastic about the new competition. The anger at Uber reached Europe very soon. In early June 2014 a European-wide protest of taxi drivers took place. Hundreds of taxi drivers participated a rally in Berlin, thousands blocked the roads to the airports Orly and Charles de Gaulle in Paris. The biggest strike took place in London. The government district around the Trafalgar Square was disabled because of 10,000 black cabs. The ultimate goal would be to stop Uber operating in their areas. Uber get criticised because of numerous things. In the very beginning in France, the service was offered in six cities and is used by more than 500,000 people. In some parts it completely replaced the Taxi service. In 2014 Uber got sued by the three biggest passanger transportation companies VTC, Transdev and Le Cab for “Unfair competition” in France. They criticized Uber because of not paying taxes and licensing fees and they offer their service by untrained drivers. Furthermore they endanger their customers by letting unlicensed and uninsured drivers offer their service. They argue on the basis of Thévenoud law that requires every driver to follow VTC training of a minimum of 250 hours. Moreover, as UberPop does not pay any taxes in France and is not guaranteeing any legal protection to its customers and drivers it is now a threat in terms of labor law, consumer law and finance law. In its defense, the company ensured that the Thévenoud law is not applicable because it was not notified to the European Commission and launched a petition that gathered more than 54,000 signatures in December 2014. The court upheld the charges against the company. Uber was fined 150,000 euros In January 2015 France banned the "Uber Pop" service. A few months after the ban "Uber Pop" continued to operate in France, which led to a series of violent protests of taxi drivers and dangerous threats against Uber drivers. Although France forbid the Uber service in their country, they had a lot of trouble enforcing the ban. Uber kept paying off the drivers’ fines and encoureged them to continue working.After two of their managers got arrested and accused of "runnung a illegal taxi service"in France Uber announced that they will continue working in France. In early 2016 Uber got fined again. It got ordered to pay 1.2 Million to french Taxi drivers because of the complaint that Uber drivers act as normal Taxi drivers waiting in the street and hoping to pick up customers.Even though they face a lot of lawsuits, protests and other issues in France Uber keeps operating and growing there. Today it has expanded across France, with currently more than 12,000 drivers and 1.4 million customers.

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