Did you know that BlueSG is actually owned by a French transportation company?
While it’s a Singapore based company, BlueSG is a subsidiary of Bolloré Group.
In 2017, BlueSG launched Singapore’s first electric car-sharing programme, with the service’s electric cars supplied by Bolloré.
It started with just 80 cars and 30 charging stations, but now has a fleet of around 670 cars, with nearly 1,500 charging points across the island.
It claims to be the world’s second largest electric car-sharing service.
With around 80,000 subscribers, you’d expect the company to be doing well, but they’ve allegedly lost millions of dollars since their launch.
BlueSG Might Be Sold to a S’pore Company
Local transport and engineering firm Goldbell Group is in advanced talks to buy over BlueSG, according to The Straits Times.
Discussions have reportedly been going on for about a year, and an in-principle deal has already been struck.
The deal is estimated to be transacted at $20 million to $25 million, depending on the scrap value of the battery-powered sub-compacts.
This would allow Goldbell to continue operations with BlueSG’s current network of charging points.
Allegedly Lost Millions of Dollars Since Launch
According to data from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, BlueSG has been incurring a growing amount of losses since its launch.
It reportedly made a loss of $3.4 million in 2017, $7.3 million in 2018, and $9.3 million in 2019.
What’s telling is that Bolloré’s car-sharing operations in Paris ended with losses too, despite massive government subsidies.
The efficiency and affordability of Singapore’s public and private transport service options may be to blame for BlueSG’s decline.
Users also have to drive the car back to a parking station after use, so if you’re late for work and choose to rent a BlueSG car, you won’t be able to park at your office and dart up the stairs.
Plus, it’s not big enough for a family, which might make the extra cost worth it.
So who exactly is this company planning to take over BlueSG’s operations?
Vulcan Post reported that the firm is Singapore’s largest commercial vehicles and industrial equipment distribution and leasing company.
Founded in 1980, Goldbell now has a fleet of trucks, vans, cars, buses, and forklifts which it rents out to transport and logistic firms.
In fact, many of the delivery vehicles used by Lazada, Qoo10, Redmart, SingPost and Ninja Van are from Goldbell (you can just look at the black sticker below the door of the van).
Back in 2018, Goldbell CEO Arthur Chua said the company had plans to electrify their fleet, so their acquisition of BlueSG may have been in the works for quite some time.