SOCAR Malaysia expands coverage to 1,000 locations

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

CAR-SHARING platform SOCAR has widened its coverage to over 1,000 zones across the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor, with over 2,000 cars for rent.

Its CEO Leon Foong (picture) said the demand for car-sharing on SOCAR’s platform has increased tremendously since they started operations in January 2018.

“Choosing Malaysia as the first overseas expansion for SOCAR was the right move and today our membership base has grown to 500,000 users in the country. Malaysians are embracing our mission to enable people to enjoy the convenience and pleasure of having a car without the commitment and hassle of owning one.

“We started with only 100 zones and now we are proud to be the pioneers of a true car-sharing service. Our top three pickup locations are Serdang, Semenyih and Cyberjaya.

“From April to October 2019, we closed 3,000 bookings each month and currently, our service is quite popular among students,” he said at the SOCAR key milestone celebration event in Petaling Jaya, yesterday.

Speaking on expansion plans, Foong said SOCAR is looking to spread its wings to East Malaysia soon, as the demand there has been increasing as well.

“We are looking at Kota Kinabalu as a viable location to start our car-sharing service because it has one of the largest airports in Malaysia.

“Over the next 12 months, we will be focusing on delivering a customer-first SOCAR experience from the moment you sign up to the very moment your return your car. One example of this is how the majority of our local driver licence approvals are done within two minutes, as long as you enter the right details and expiry dates,” he added.

At the event, Foong announced the extension of SOCAR’s door-to-door car delivery service in the Klang Valley, which is branded as SOCAR2U.

To meet the growing demand from members, the SOCAR2U service now covers from USJ 21 in Subang (Selangor) to Bukit Bintang (Kuala Lumpur and Kota Damansara (Selangor).

Users can reserve their preferred car, and have it delivered to their desired pick-up point, as well as have the car picked up from their return location, for a fee of RM10.

“Our typical reservation is four to five hours, but some users do book up to 30 days. We now use data to tap into the preferences of our customers, rolling out car models at locations and price points which are attractive to our end user.

“Ultimately, we want SOCAR to go beyond mobility by allowing users to have the freedom to go wherever they want,” Foong added.

Currently, SOCAR Malaysia has a fleet of 2,000 vehicles covering 26 different models including the Volkswagen Polo, Perodua Alza, BMW 330e and Mazda CX-5.

The car-sharing platform was initially adopted from South Korea to encourage the new trend of keyless driving in Malaysia.

To use the service, users will have to register as a SOCAR member and download the app on their smartphone. Once registered, members can verify their identity on the app and start selecting their car of choice to embark on the journey.

The car can be returned to a designated SOCAR parking space once member’s booking has ended.