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Bengaluru: MG Motor India Pvt. Ltd has signed a strategic partnership deal with car-sharing platform Zoomcar to offer the former’s vehicle on subscriptions to commuters. The partnership will help the automaker to penetrate deeper in the vehicle rental and sharing segment as more commuters are now expected to prefer personal vehicles over public commute options due to the spread of covid-19.

Through this tie-up, MG Motor will also leverage Zoomcar’s technology such as GPS tracking, including on-ground fleet management, logistics support, and vehicle scheduling.

Zoomcar will also manage the subscription program on behalf of MG. The duo will extend MG’s latest vehicles in line with Zoomcar’s flexible 12-, 24-, or 36-month subscription options, the companies said on Tuesday.

Since its launch in India in May 2019, MG Motor has emerged as an important competitor to bigger established car manufacturers, such as Tata Motors Ltd and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd with their product and technology offerings.

Automobile sales in the country have continued to dip amidst a global pandemic and subsequent curb on movement between states. However, car and two-wheeler manufacturers reported sequential as well as year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in sales in July as coronavirus lockdown rules were relaxed in many states.

During the lockdown period, mobility and rental startups such as Zoomcar, Drivezy, Yulu, Bounce also faced a temporary slowdown in daily rides due to restrictions placed on public commute from March to June. Zoomcar’s close competitor Drivezy, and bike-sharing startup Bounce and VOGO have been hiving of vehicle assets to the second-hand market due to the erosion of demand.

Greg Moran, chief executive of Zoomcar, however, said that he expects a “significant" increase in car subscriptions over the next several quarters, as consumers look to avoid public transport and ride-hailing services without the commitments of traditional car ownership.

“Car subscriptions will continue to evolve and grow into more flexible, comprehensive offerings in the future. Along these lines, Zoomcar continues to focus on adding more and more vehicle models to subscription. We are delighted to partner with MG Motor India on the next phase of their growth to offer flexible subscriptions as an alternative to vehicle ownership," Moran added.

Zoomcar is backed by prominent investors such as Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M), Ford Smart Mobility, Sequoia Capital, and debt investors such as InnoVen Capital and Trifecta Capital. To date, Zoomcar has raised around $150 million, and it's last fundraise was in January 2020, when it secured $30 million led by Sony Innovation Fund, and other existing investo

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