Ola ropes in GM veteran Jose Pinheiro to head global e-mobility operations

Topics Ola | General Motors

A manufacturing veteran, Pinheiro was earlier the vice president of manufacturing for General Motors Latin America
Moving ahead rapidly with its global electric mobility plans, ride-hailing firm Ola has roped in General Motors veteran Jose Pinheiro to head the global manufacturing and operations for its electric business. In this role, Pinheiro will spearhead Ola’s ambitions to build world-class manufacturing facilities starting with the world’s largest scooter factory, and then expanding to multiple such facilities across India. These manufacturing facilities will enable Ola to rapidly bring to market its wide range of two-wheeler products currently under development.

“I am thrilled to join Ola Electric and be part of this inspiring vision. I look forward to collaborating with this incredible team and building a world-class manufacturing facility to deliver Ola’s range of electric two-wheelers including the upcoming electric scooter,” said Pinheiro, head, global manufacturing and operations, Electric Mobility, Ola. “The rapid pace of progress at Ola is impressive and energising and I am looking forward to contributing to Ola’s mission of sustainable mobility. More than anything else I am very excited to be in India and work with this passionate group of people.”

A manufacturing veteran, Pinheiro was earlier the vice president of manufacturing for General Motors Latin America, based out of São Paulo and brings over 45 years of leadership experience. As the vice president, he managed 16 GM industrial complexes across nine countries, two continents and five languages. His deep manufacturing expertise will be critical in building Ola’s entire range of two-wheeler products, starting with the soon to launch electric scooter.

“His (Pinheiro) deep domain expertise will help us deliver the game-changing Ola electric scooter at scale and will help catalyse the Indian EV ecosystem. At Ola we will continue to strive towards building in India for India and the world,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and group CEO, Ola. “I look forward to working closely with Jose (Pinheiro) to build our world-class manufacturing facilities and accelerate the world’s movement towards sustainable mobility.”

Earlier, Ola Electric had also inducted automobile industry veterans like BVR Subbu and Jaime Ardila to its board who bring in their deep industry expertise and global mobility experience. Last year Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, invested an undisclosed sum in Ola Electric. The firm had said it is committed to bringing 1 million electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2022

Last July Ola Electric raised $250 million from Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank. The investment made the company a “unicorn”, or a start-up valued at more than $1 billion.

Ola said its first electric scooter has already won several design and innovation awards around the world, including Marketing Innovation award at CES and the German Design Award. The vehicle features many firsts. including a unique removable banana battery that is easy to carry and can be charged anywhere. Ola plans to bring many such design and software innovations to its entire product line of two-wheelers as they come to market in the coming months.

Early this year, Ola Electric Mobility (Ola Electric), the ride-hailing firm’s electric vehicle arm, acquired Etergo BV, an Amsterdam-based electric scooter original equipment manufacturer. Ola did not disclose the amount it was paying to acquire Etergo, which was last valued at about $90 million, according to the sources. The move has put the firm in direct competition with electric two-wheeler makers such as Ather Energy, Hero Electric and TVS Motor Company.

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