Juan Andres Panamá, Didi: Trips jump 350% in Mexico
Although international transportation services company Didi Chuxing (DiDi) is a fairly recent arrival to the app-based mobility scene in Mexico, it is not to be taken lightly considering its 550 million users and 31 million drivers worldwide.
To give us insight on the company’s recent accomplishments and upcoming growth plans, I spoke with the company’s Operations Director in Mexico, Juan Andres Panamá. He has been with the company since January 2019.
What are the main services DiDi provides in Mexico and how has market acceptance and sales performance been since Didi started in the country in 2018?
Panamá: DiDi arrived in Mexico in April 2018 in the city of Toluca with DiDi Express [app-based ride-hailing]. As of December 2019, the company has been providing service in 32 Mexican cities with DiDi Express, three with DiDi Comparte [car-pool ride service] and one with DiDi Taxi, jointly reporting a 350% increase in trips year-over-year in 4Q19.
I’d also like to say that we have recently launched our DiDi Food service in the country’s three largest cities (Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey).
What is your main goal for DiDi Mexico this year and how do you expect to accomplish it?
Panamá: We are continuously looking to create better journeys for all of our users and we expect to achieve this by providing safe and comfortable trips of high quality. Our goal is to also help drivers increase their earnings and to support passengers with an affordable option for their daily needs.
Didi Chuxing headquarters in Beijing (source: Didi Chuxing)
Don’t you have plans to build an electrified fleet this year? Could you tell us a little about it?
Panamá: Sure, We are creating an electric fleet partner alliance in Mexico of which two companies are involved, being Drive the Future [a Renault strategic plan] and international renewables and environment company Engie. While they will be in charge of managing the vehicles, we will help to connect them to drivers for their automobiles.
The models that will be used as 100% electric vehicles are BYD e5 and Renault Zoe 2020, along with other hybrid vehicles that our drivers may sign-up for in the platform.
In 2020, DiDi will be supporting drivers and fleet partners with a take rate of 0% for fully electric vehicles and half the normal rate for hybrid vehicles.
It looks like developing alliances is important to DiDi’s success. Are there any other types of partnerships you are looking for?
Panamá: At DiDi, we are always open to creating new partnerships for vehicle solutions. Besides those aimed at getting new vehicles, we are seeking collaborations that focus on providing financial solutions, pushing more affordable and energy efficient fuel alternatives, and providing better and more competitive experiences for our network of drivers.
How does regulation impact the company’s business in Mexico and what legislation is most important to you?
Panamá: DiDi arrived in Mexico focused on contributing to better mobility conditions and providing safe entrepreneurship opportunities in the country. As for regulation, we believe that the best approach is one that is done through collaboration.
Besides healthy competition, we believe in the accessibility and inclusion of all services to the entire population and in certainty and safety when it comes to their mobility needs.
Any last words for our readers?
Panamá: I’d just like to say that DiDi has been experiencing great acceptance in the country and we are expecting continued growth in 2020 and beyond.