[Updated on 5 Feb 2021, 2pm]
Launched in December 2017, BlueSG claims to be the world’s second largest electric car-sharing service.
As of December last year, BlueSG has a fleet of 667 shared electric Bluecar vehicles and 1,487 charging stations that is spread across 374 locations in Singapore.
The Straits Times first reported on Feb 1 that BlueSG, which is a subsidiary of Bolloré Group, is in “advanced talks” with local transport and engineering firm Goldbell Group to take over the company’s operations.
Discussions have apparently been ongoing for about a year and an in-principle deal has since been struck, according to the report.
Subsequently, on Feb 5 (Friday), Goldbell Group confirms that it is acquiring BlueSG in a press release.
The acquisition, which is expected to be completed before August 2021, will accelerate BlueSG’s development through its next phase of growth.
It will also further Goldbell’s commitment to fulfilling its vision of becoming a leader in the future mobility landscape for smart cities, according to the same press release.
Goldbell Has Been Embracing EV Since 2018
Founded in 1980, Goldbell Group is Singapore’s largest commercial vehicles and industrial equipment distribution and leasing company.
Goldbell has a diversified business portfolio that operates under three main business pillars: distribution, leasing, and financial services.
It owns a fleet of trucks, vans, cars, buses and forklifts, which it rents to businesses like transport firms and logistics startups. It is also the driving force behind all Lazada, Qoo10, Redmart, SingPost and Ninja Van deliveries.
In a 2018 interview with Vulcan Post, Goldbell CEO Arthur Chua shared that he is spearheading their Future Mobility division, which focuses on innovation and technology in transport.
He also shared then that Goldbell has plans to electrify its fleet of vehicles. In 2019, Goldbell set up a robotics-enabled workshop that comes with sufficient power supply to charge vehicles.
Even as the company continues to push forward in its future mobility plans, Goldbell has stressed that its core leasing and distribution business is not left behind.
What The Acquisition Means
The combination of BlueSG’s strong brand and engaged customer base, with Goldbell’s deep industry intelligence and network, vehicle support capabilities and fleet efficiency protocols bring powerful synergies to the current and future customers of BlueSG.– Arthur Chua, CEO of the Goldbell Group
With the BlueSG acquisition, Goldbell plans to expand its business and technical capabilities with investments of more than S$70 million over the next 5 years.
This will include injecting new vehicles into the fleet, the establishment of an R&D centre with a full-fledged BlueSG technology team and the development of new mobility algorithms, analytics and technologies.
For example, spatial temporal algorithms, one of the key technology levers for car sharing, will improve customer experience and operational efficiencies by way of fleet re-balancing.
BlueSG will also serve as Goldbell’s Global Headquarters for car sharing.
In the meantime, until the completion of the acquisition, BlueSG’s day-to-day operations will still be managed by parent company the Bolloré Group.
BlueSG customers can continue accessing BlueSG’s existing electric vehicle charging infrastructure of carparks and chargers and these will be managed separately under the retained ownership of Bolloré.
Featured Image Credit: BlueSG