Yandex has asked Chinese automakers BAIC Group and Chery, as well as local Russian carmaker Volga and Belarusian carmaker Unison, to provide vehicles for the leasing company that will work with Yandex. Upon completion of the lease, the cab company will take over the cars and turn them into its own assets.
In this regard, Chery Automobile’s Russian representative office confirmed that it has cooperated with Yandex. Commenting on this, Dmitry Ignatiev, Manager of Corporate Sales and Used Cars Department of Chery Automobile Russia, said, “We are providing them with leased cars with guaranteed commercial use.”
Yandex is not a rental car company, but intends to be an intermediary between cab companies and car manufacturers and arrange cab supply matters with the guarantee of its use for cabs. To ensure fleet renewal, Yandex will probably need more than 50,000 new vehicles per year.
Taxi previously used models from Kia, Skoda and Volkswagen for the largest “economy” market, which is no longer at the center of the market.
The shortage of cars for Russian cab companies, including due to the epidemic, is further exacerbated by the fact that several automakers have chosen to leave Russia in 2022 amid sanctions.
Citymobil reports that cab companies are now actively pursuing cars to renew their fleets, as there is little left on the Russian market. Fleet owners have begun looking for new suppliers among Asian manufacturers, and the average cost of both foreign and domestic cars in Russia has doubled.
In April, car-sharing service Yandex.Drive faced lease expirations that could have caused them to lose a third of their fleet orders. At the time, Yandex’s main customer said it no longer wanted to supply cars at old prices due to higher rates, and issued quotas for cabs and car-sharing services, before the cost of a “big rental” car grew from 79,000 rubles to 96,000 rubles (about RMB 10,944).