With a thriving financial center and cosmopolitan population, the city seemed like an ideal place for the ride-hailing service to operate and grow. Yet Uber was forced out by a mix of cultural and legal missteps. Specifically, it miscalculated how best to win over skeptical locals unaccustomed to its win-at-all-costs tactics, and it underestimated the regulatory hurdles of doing business in Europe’s largest economy.
“If you want to be successful in Germany, you have to understand the regulation,” said Martin Fassnacht, a professor at the Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany. “Uber should have taken that more seriously.”