If the German taxi lobby was breathing a sigh of relief yesterday after a Frankfurt court issued a temporary injunction against Uber banning it across the country, it isn't any more.
Uber Germany has seen signups in Hamburg alone soar a whopping 590 per cent in the last 24 hours. Rather than shunning the San Francisco-based company, Germans appear to be embracing what Taxi Deutschland, a consortium of taxi companies, described as "anarchy capitalism".
The taxi app company doubled signups in all five German cities where it operates, with demand in both Hamburg and Düsseldorf rising over 500 per cent. Even people who don't live in cities where Uber operates are downloading the app, perhaps in an act of capitalist solidarity. Uber now ranks in the top ten most downloaded apps in Germany.
Fabien Nestmann, Uber Germany's spokesperson, said:
We’ve just seen one of the biggest single-day increases in signups this year of Uber Germany, and this comes on top of five-fold growth since the start of the year. This kind of public support simply reinforces our commitment to Germany as we set to expand into more and more cities across the country. We have also seen huge demand in rural areas, as people look for a safe and convenient way to travel throughout the country in areas where public transport is not readily available.
We love choice. We think choice is a beautiful thing. Consumers win, cities win, people win. It would seem some people are attempting to limit consumer choice for all the wrong reasons.
The temporary injunction issued by the Frankfurt regional court yesterday banned Uber from operating in Germany, with the threat of fines up to €250,000 (£198,000) if it breaks the ban. The injunction was imposed after Taxi Deutschland brought a suit against Uber. The court ruled the taxi app service did not have the necessary legal permits to operate under German law.
Here are the percentage increases in signups for the five German cities Uber operates in:
- Uber Hamburg up 590 per cent
- Uber Dusseldorf up 518 per cent
- Uber Munich up 329 per cent
- Uber Berlin up 270 per cent
- Uber Frankfurt up 228 per cent