Uber-owned firm takes supplier to court

Lion City Rental claims local firm failed to deliver batch of cars worth 'tens of millions'

A dispute between an Uber-owned rental firm and one of its car suppliers over an order of over 2,400 cars has ended up in the High Court.

Lion City Rental alleged that Sunrita failed to deliver a batch of cars worth "tens of millions of dollars", while the local trading company claimed it had already delivered three quarters of the order.

A Lion City Rental spokesman said it has fully paid for the order but "failed to receive a material number of vehicles". A High Court hearing has been set for July 21.

Mr Sivakumar Murugaiyan, a lawyer acting for Sunrita, said the company had not entered into any agreement to deliver the cars by a certain date. He said Sunrita had already delivered more than 1,800 cars ordered by Lion City Rental some time in March last year. "There was no agreed delivery date," he said.

On its website, Sunrita said it was incorporated in 1968. Its main business is property investment in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Britain. Mr Murugaiyan, a partner with RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, said Sunrita diversified into the car business last year.

The Straits Times understands Lion City Rental - which was set up in early 2015 - has already grown a fleet of nearly 10,000 cars.

Industry sources said it is planning to increase this to 15,000 this year.

According to Land Transport Authority figures, there are 55,224 private-hire cars here as at the end of last month - 7.6 per cent more than last December and 3.4 times the population in 2013, when both Uber and Grab entered the market.

Lion City Rental said the dispute would not have a "material impact" on its "ability to rent vehicles to hirers" .

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2017, with the headline 'Uber-owned firm takes supplier to court'. Print Edition | Subscribe