Smaller US peer Lyft offered a glimmer of hope when it published its own second-quarter results last week and pointed to easing price pressures. Perhaps, investors wondered, ride-sharing was the sort of business that could become profitable even without driverless cars?
Uber’s results pour cold water on that idea. Even if price wars are ending, Uber cannot afford to raise its own prices by any meaningful amount.
The company claims cars, not other ride-sharing companies, are its real rivals. But so are public transport, taxis and walking around. Losses will mount for as long as Uber fails to recognise the breadth of the competition.