ola: Ola shuts down used cars business, food delivery service to focus on EVs


Shared mobility major Ola has shut its used car division Ola Cars within eight months of its commencement, as it sharpens its focus on its electric vehicle and mobility business.

The ride-hailing major has also shut Ola Dash, its last-mile delivery business along with the used car business, said people aware of the development.

In an official response, the company spokesperson confirmed the development and said, Ola has reassessed its priorities and decided to shut down the quick commerce business. The Ola Cars infrastructure, technology and capabilities will now “be repurposed towards growing our Ola Electric sales and service network,” the spokesperson said.

The company claimed its ride-hailing business is delivering its highest ever GMV month on month along with profitability, and its young EV business has already become India’s largest EV company within months of launch.

“We’re focused on our mission to accelerate the electric revolution in India and scale our mobility services to serve 500mn Indians. With our strong balance sheet, we’re increasing our pace of investments and growth into new areas like electric cars, cell manufacturing and financial services,” added the spokesperson.

Ola launched its used cars platform last October and appointed Arun Sirdeshmukh as its chief executive.

It was to rival the likes of Spinny, Droom, Cars24 and Olx.

However, last month, Sirdeshmukh quit the company. The same month, the company closed operations in five cities, Hindu Business Line reported citing sources.

Ola Cars had plans to expand into 100 cities with 300 centres. It also had plans of hiring over 10,000 people across areas like vehicle diagnostics, service, support and sale. Most people on board Ola Cars are now likely to be absorbed in the Ola Electric business.

The shutting down of used car operations happens at a time when the used car market in India is booming and scaling new peaks.

To be sure, Ola has had a long history of shuttering businesses as Aggarwal moved from one big idea to the other. In April, the company reportedly let go of 2,100 employees operating its dark stores for Ola Dash. It had started scaling down the dark stores and had put its expansion plans on hold, ET Prime recently reported.

Then there is the food business. In 2015, Ola started Ola Cafes but shut it down a year later. In 2017, it acquired Foodpanda, but shut down the business in 2019 and laid off the employees. It later focussed on the cloud kitchen business with Ola Foods but reportedly the brands never caught traction and the company is selling its kitchen equipment.


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