Shared mobility major Ola has shut its used car division Ola Cars within eight months of its commencement, as it sharpens its focus on its electric vehicle and mobility business.
The company has also shut Ola Dash, its quick commerce arm, said people in the know.
In an official response, a company spokesperson confirmed the development and said that Ola has reassessed its priorities and decided to shut down the quick commerce business. The Ola Cars infrastructure, technology and capabilities will now “be repurposed towards growing our Ola Electric sales and service network,” said the spokesperson.
The company claimed its ride hailing business is delivering its highest ever gross merchandise value (GMV) month on month along with very strong profitability, and its young EV business has already become India’s largest EV company within months of launch.
“We’re very excited and focused on our mission to accelerate the electric revolution in India and scale our mobility services to serve 500 million Indians. With our strong balance sheet, we’re increasing our pace of investments and growth into new areas like electric cars, cell manufacturing and financial services,” added the spokesperson.
Ola launched its used cars platform last October and appointed Arun Sirdeshmukh as its chief executive. It was to rival against the likes of Spinny, Droom, Cars24 and Olx.
However, last month, Sirdeshmukh quit the company. The same month, the company closed operations in five cities, BusinessLine reported citing sources.
Ola Cars had plans to expand into 100 cities with 300 centers. It also had plans of hiring over 10,000 people across areas like vehicle diagnostics, service, support and sale. Majority of the people on board Ola Cars are now likely to be absorbed in the Ola Electric business.
The shutting down of used car operation happens at a time when the used car market in India is booming and scaling new peaks.
To be sure, Ola has had a long history of closed businesses as Aggarwal rushed from one big idea to the other. In April, the company reportedly let go of 2,100 employees operating its dark stores for Ola Dash. It had started scaling down the dark stores and had put its expansion plans on hold, ET Prime recently reported.
Then there is the food business. In 2015, Ola started Ola Cafes but shut it down a year later. In 2017, it acquired Foodpanda, but shut down the business in 2019 and laid off the employees. It later focussed on the cloud kitchen business with Ola Foods but reportedly the brands never caught traction and the company is selling its kitchen equipment.