30/07/2019 - 16:00

Swan Taxis to invest $15m in expansion

30/07/2019 - 16:00

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Swan Taxis has announced plans to upgrade and substantially expand its fleet with more hybrid vehicles, following a similar investment by its Singapore-based owner Comfort DelGro Corporation.

Swan Taxis to invest $15m in expansion
The new Swan Taxis fleet will be mainly composed of Toyota Camry Hybrid and Toyota Prius Hybrid vehicles.

Swan Taxis has announced plans to upgrade and substantially expand its fleet with more hybrid vehicles, following a similar investment by its Singapore-based owner Comfort DelGro Corporation.

The company plans to invest close to $15 million acquiring about 500 new vehicles with the first batch already in operation and more expected to hit the roads in the next few months.

Swan Taxis has about 1,200 vehicles in its fleet, with around 15 per cent (180) directly owned and operated by the company and leased to drivers.

A company spokesman said Swan initially would replace its existing vehicles but also intended to substantially expand the overall size of its fleet. 

The future size of its fleet will depend on the imapct of the taxi plate buy-back currently being conductred by the state government, with many driver-owners taking up the buy-back opportunity..

The investment comes nearly two years after Swan bought Perth company Metro WA Taxi Management, which had a fleet of 170 vehicles.

That marked Swan's diversification from its core taxi despatch business to also being a fleet management company.  

ComfortDelGro / Swan Taxis chief executive WA Carey Marshall said the introduction of new vehicles was positive for both customers and taxi drivers, as they are more comfortable and friendly for the environment.

“We’ve listened to our customers and our drivers and invested in new vehicles, which will only afford greater safety and comfort to our drivers and passengers,” Mr Marshall said.

“As part of a large global group, Swan Taxis has been able to leverage on economies of scale to acquire this latest batch of hybrid taxis.

“Cost-wise, these vehicles will prove to be more affordable for our drivers since they are more fuel-efficient.”

The new Swan Taxis fleet will be mainly composed of Toyota Camry Hybrid and Toyota Prius Hybrid vehicles. The fleet will also include Toyota RAV 4 Hybrid and Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid vehicles.

The investment comes despite intense competition in the sector.

Comfort DelGro’s latest financial results, for the three months to March 2019, said its overseas taxi business (including WA) remains challenging with keen competition and weaker currencies.

It predicted that future revenue would be lower amidst the continuing keen competition.

ComfortDelGro also has a large taxi business in Singapore. The group announced early this year it had taken delivery of more than 900 new hybrid taxis, with orders placed for another 600, mainly for fleet replacement.

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