17 taxi firms team up to Grab their share back

By Anh Tu   December 12, 2018 | 04:24 am PT
17 taxi firms team up to Grab their share back
Que Lua Taxi is one of 17 taxi brands that has joined together to compete against Grab. Photo courtesy of Que Lua Taxi
Pressured by inroads made into their market by ride-hailing firms, traditional taxi companies are putting up a united fightback.

Members of a new alliance are collaborating by sharing the same technological platform to take back their customers.

The Vietnam Taxi Alliance was officially launched in Hanoi on Monday. It will operate countrywide through the ride-hailing application "EMMDI," a vehicle management software developed by scientists with the Hanoi National University.

As of now, 17 traditional taxi companies have joined the Vietnam Taxi Alliance, six of which are based in Hanoi: Thanh Nga, Van Xuan, Thang Long, Sao Mai, Long Bien and Que Lua.

This month, the alliance will also welcome Open 99 and VIC, increasing its fleet strength to 4,000 units. The alliance will also launch the service in many other provinces like Nam Dinh in the north, and Ha Tinh and Quang Binh in the central region.

"We guarantee customers will be connected with drivers in 1-2 minutes without increasing fares during peak hours," said Le Vinh Quang, vice president of the Vietnam Taxi Alliance.

Next year, the organization aims to extend its coverage to all 63 provinces and cities nationwide with a fleet of more than 20,000 vehicles.

Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said the establishment of an alliance between taxi companies and the use of ride hailing software is a positive signal.

Loc said that for traditional taxi companies to succeed, they need to change their way of doing business, using new technologies and adopting the shared-economy model.

Previously, three taxi companies, Thanh Cong, Sao Hanoi and Ba Sao had joined to form the G7 taxi union in Hanoi to compete with Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride hailing firm. Together, they have about 3,000 cars, accounting for around 20 percent of taxis in the Hanoi area.

Nguyen Cong Hung, chairman of the Hanoi Taxi Association, had said: "Traditional taxis, each with their own app, are now trying to compete with Grab. But we are divided, therefore we need to unite."

But Grab, the dominant player in the ride-hailing business in Vietnam, is also working on strategies to compete better with local taxi firms.

Several months ago, it introduced Grab for Business in Vietnam, a service that helps a company track the trips its employees make to limit unnecessary trips and control expenses.

Grab is also deploying various policies to attract drivers by offering bonuses and opening stops with free wifi and coffee.

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