After Uber introduced its service UberX in2012
which allows private drivers to drive for Uber with their private cars,
the growth of the company skyrocketed within a few years.
当今 优步市值超过600亿美元 在全球60个国家400多个城市都有业务
Today,Uber is worth more than $ 60 billion and operates in 60 countries and over 400 cities worldwide
然而 有个市场是优步多少没有成功占领的 那就是德国
One market, however, that Uber for years more or less unsuccessfully tried to conquer is Germany.
But why exactly did the company have such a hard time here?
2013年年底 UberX首先被引进到德国的5个主要城市 那时它被称作UberPOP
In Germany UberX was first introduced in 5 major cities in late 2013 under the name UberPOP.
这些城市是法兰克福 柏林 慕尼黑 汉堡和德塞尔多夫
These cities were Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich,Hamburg and Düsseldorf.
As common practise at this time, Uber started their service here too
with little regard for local laws or protocols.
Instead their strategy was: expand first – ask questions later.
这就是你查询 “另一个法律问题” 时
There is a reason why when you google ” another legal problem”,
the first article that comes up is an article about Uber
Although this approach certainly opened up the German market for them initially ,it quickly backfired.
Like so much in Germany, passanger transportation is stricly regulated by a net of laws and regulations.
The Personenbeförderungsgesetz or Passenger Transportation Act for instance,
mandates a special license for drivers transporting people for payment.
This License roughly costs 100-200€
and requires a variety of different certifications and medical exams.
This includes a valid drivers license, an ID card,
a stress test, a reaction Test
a cognition test and an eyesight test
as well as criminal record certificate, a local knowledge certificate
and a statement of the driver suitability register
Furthermore,companies that provide taxi servies
require a taxi license or at least a vehicle license,
which both, in turn, require a lot of paperwork.
Another legal problem involved the lack of correct insurance.
As it is the norm in many countries, every driver in Germany has to be insured.
Private insurances however typcially don’t cover commercially driven vehicles
这意味着载客时 许多优步司机是未上保的 这是不合法的
which meant many Uber drivers were essentially driving uninsured when they were working which is illegal.
Because of all that,
only months after the implementation of the service
courts and authorities of the respective cities started to take legal actions against the company.
大约1年半后 在2015年的春天 Uberpop在全国范围内被完全禁止
Roughly 1,5 years later, in Spring 2015, UberPop was banned altogether nationwide.
During the trail Uber argued that their service is legal
because they dont own any cars andonly acts as a middleman
between passengers and drivers.
The rules for taxiservices should therefore not apply to them.
But this defense wasnt recognized by the court
as the company still directly managed the contractual transportation against payment
and wasn’t a car sharing service.
The sentence was subsequently confirmed in second instance
and after a complaint also by the european court of justice.
After the Ruling,Uber had to withdraw the service in Germany again
which meant that for a while the only remaining service they provided was Uber Taxi
which allows you to call a regular taxi via app.
Since then they have however successfully introduced two new legal versions called UberX
(not to be confused with the UberX from America) and UberGreen
which are essentially livery services that provide rides
that provide rides that arent run by private drivers
but instead by professional chauffeur companies with the necessary paperwork.
Today they are operating these services in 3 cities again.
But with a fleet of only around 100-150 cars per city
the marketshare is of course comparably small.
Ubers plan to revolutionize passenger transportation in Germany too
has therefore thus far mostly failed.
One final reason why Uber might continue to have trouble establishing themselves in Germany
is that taxi services here are far less despised as in other countries.
While the prices are not noteably lower
taxis in germany are still most comprised of newer mercedes models.
Although the number has dropped over the past 2 decades
over 50 % of taxis are still mercedes
which, in general, makes taxi rides a pretty confortable thing.