The shortage of semi-conductor that is being experienced globally has hindered Volkswagen Rwanda’s plans to expand its fleet for Move, its ride-hailing solution.
The German automaker's mobility solution launched a few years ago to operate alongside the assembly plant while serving the ride-hailing demand, has struggled to cement its position in the market.
The ride-hailing company has been growing its clientele after it rolled out brand new cars for the ride-hailing service.
Many customers now complain that the service has significantly deteriorated, and it has even become hard to order a move and it comes. When a customer makes a request for a ride, drivers first ask the customer's final destination, and if they find the place is far, they don’t bother coming.
One of the factors behind the poor service, according to some Move drivers, the fleet is still small to sufficiently cover the city, while even the few keep exiting. Yet, the policy in place where they are required to bring in money commensurate with the kilometers driven, is not enough to cover customers on long distances.
This makes them turn down many customers who call them from distances they feel will not be worth the fuel and effort, making customers switch to other taxi hailing companies.
Serge Kamuhinda, the chief executive- Volkswagen mobility solutions Rwanda, said: “We have not lost any market share in ride-hailing, however, we have expanded our services with other products such as Move for Business, Corporate Car Sharing, and Airport Shuttle”
He also said their fleet expansion plans have been hampered by the semi-conductor shortage, but more cars are expected to be added before the year ends.
“There is a temporary shortage of fleet worldwide due to the semi-conductor crisis. However, we plan to have in the last quarter of this year an influx of new vehicles” he said.
When the coronavirus pandemic broke out in 2020, semiconductor demand dropped globally and orders were canceled. Experts say that automotive companies canceled their backlog and decided to burn off both finished goods inventory and use semi finished inventory to build what they could.