Modus Group, the owner of Lithuania-based CityBee, is positioning the company as one of the biggest car-sharing services in Europe with a major investment into its fleet planned for 2019.
The company has just launched a tender to buy over 5,000 new cars, roughly five times as many as its current fleet, following a reported €110mn investment by Modus.
According to a statement from CityBee CEO Aurimas Čiagus, quoted by local media, the company plans to sign agreements with the winning bidders in February and acquire all the 5,360 vehicles before the end of 2019.
This would position the company as a serious competitor to major car-sharing services like BlaBlaCar, Car2go and Zipcar.
CityBee plans to add to its fleets in Lithuania and Poland as well as enter the Latvian and Estonian markets, as announced by Modus, a move that is planned in spring 2019.
The first CityBee cars to be introduced in Latvia and Estonia will be intended for moving household goods and the transportation of large cargoes, Modus’ statement said. The service is anticipated to launch with a fleet of 50 commercial vehicles in each country's capital, which will gradually be increased, the statement quoted Čiagus as saying.
Modus noted that it is already developing its car dealership business and offering smart parking solutions in both Latvia and Estonia.
“While carrying out business in these countries, we saw the opportunity for a carsharing service as well. Even though the service is still pretty new in Latvia and Estonia, we know there are quite a few carsharing players in the market (one has launched its service less than a year ago in Latvia; one provides a carsharing service for electric cars in Estonia). The fact that their popularity among local drivers is growing rapidly gives us extra confidence,” said Liudas Liutkevičius, chairman of the board of Modus Group, in a statement.
“Modus Group is committed to investing in areas of continuously growing future potential. Carsharing is considered one of these future sustainable businesses, and we intend to develop it to the highest standards,” Liutkevičius added.
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