Full speed ahead as competition revs up among premium taxi services
Paper Edition | Page: 15
Jakarta is swarming with taxis, with a rainbow of colors and different attractions for passengers. And the tight competition is not limited to middle-range consumers; a growing number of operators are focused on providing premium taxi services.
Although the market share remains relatively small, it holds much promise amid increasing standards of living and consumers with higher disposable income. Although their basic rate is higher, premium taxi services offer advantages of enhanced comfort, security and entertainment (from WiFi to TV options) – ideal in staying cool and warding off frustration on Jakarta’s congested streets.
“Stiff competition is inevitable in every kind of business, including luxury taxis, and we strive to provide the best service because there is demand for such taxis,” said Wahyudi Parulian, chief of business development for Cipaganti Taxi.
He said the company’s services showed that it fully understood the needs of its premium customers.
“We take our business in this segment very seriously, and among the services provided are professional, experienced and courteous drivers and vehicles that are in top condition.”
The company is looking beyond Jakarta and its base in Bandung to Surabaya, where there are few luxury operators despite its status as the capital of East Java and the nation’s second largest city.
“We are sure we can compete in a ‘healthy’ way to grab the existing market,” said company general manager Hendra Limas.
He said there were various factors driving the growth, starting with the country’s improved economy fueling greater consumer purchasing power and the attendant need for luxury taxis that provide better services and amenities.
From the regional point of view, luxury taxis remain limited in number with demand outstripping supply.
Hendra said 10 luxury cars would take to the streets in early January 2013, and the company looked not only to its established customer base but also wanted to reach out to other consumers.
“As per our license, we will keep on adding to the number of units to reach 100 units in the near future with a total investment of Rp 40 billion,” he said.
Leading taxi company Blue Bird Group (BBG) is extending its collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Indonesia (MBI) for the company’s luxury taxis following a positive response from customers.
Based on the terms of its first five-year collaboration, the BBG purchased 300 units of C Class, which will now be sold to the public according to the company’s policy of not using cars more than five years old. BBG will purchase 80 units of the C Class and 320 units of E Class at a special price and with delivery in stages.
“As the pioneer of this exclusive class we get all the high standard products, including their features, from MBI. This is highly important for us in providing the most reliable, secure, convenient, comfortable and personalized service for the satisfaction of our customers,” said the firm’s president director H. Purnomo Prawiro.
Next year, its total number of premium taxis, including several other brands, will reach 1,200.
Express Group has introduced its latest luxury taxi using the Mercedes-Benz Viano 3,500cc. Tiara Express, also owned by Express Group, previously introduced the Toyota Alphard as its premium cab, but now uses the Mercedes MPV Viano 3.5 liter in Jakarta to pamper customers with enhanced services.
“Our premium taxis using the Mercedes Viano will provide enhanced safety and comfort features for passengers. We decided on the Mercedes Viano based on the famous safety and comfort features of the German model,” said Express Group president director Daniel Podiman.
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