Uber Technologies Inc. is negotiating cheaper deals for new vehicles with Kia Motors Corp. to boost its number of drivers fivefold in the Nigerian city of Lagos, Africa’s biggest, to 3,000 by the end of next year.
The U.S. car-booking company has signed agreements with the South Korean carmaker and Lagos-based Access Bank Plc to reduce the down payment required for new vehicles to N95,000 from almost N200,000, with the balance payable over four years, Alon Lits, Uber’s general manager for sub-Saharan Africa, said in an interview in Lagos on Aug. 28.
“Since we launched in Lagos just over a year ago, more than 600 job opportunities have been created using the application,” Lits said. “That’s really just the beginning. We feel that the number can be well over 3,000 by the end of 2016.”
Uber, which connects drivers with passengers via its smartphone application in more than 300 cities, is seeking partnerships that will reduce costs for new drivers as the San Francisco-based company expands in Africa, Lits said.