This second investment by Hyundai Motor Co in Grab underscores the strategic growing relations between the two firms and has long term implications.
In a development that marks Hyundai Motor Co’s growing confidence on Uber, the carmaker has, once again, invested Singapore’s ride hailing firm Grab.
Hyundai Motor Co’s investment of $250 million in Grab is its biggest ever in the ride-hailing firm. Although the amount if smaller than those made by others, including Toyota Motor Corp, it nevertheless underscores a strategic shift at Hyundai Motor Co, which has typically shunned partnerships in favor of developing its own technologies.
Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp, is slated to launch pilot electric vehicle (EV) projects in Southeast Asia sometime in 2019 begining with Singapore, where 200 EVs will be leased to Grab drivers, said Hyundai in a statement.
The projects will later be expanded to other countries including Malaysia and Vietnam.
The development comes in the wake of Hyundai Motor Co battling sluggish sales in two of its biggest markets – China and the United States, where its share price has fallen nearly a third in 2018.
“Not only Hyundai, but all global auto manufacturers have realized that generating revenue solely from selling vehicles is not a sustainable, viable option,” said Chi Young-cho, Hyundai’s chief innovation officer. “It is better to disrupt than being disrupted”.
According to Chi, Hyundai expects to launch its own ride-sharing service in select markets by 2019, said Chi. He went on to add, the automaker is looking at acquisition opportunities, without providing any further details.
Hyundai Motor Co is aiming to collect data from EVs, including those related to battery charging from cars it leases to Grab in order to develop vehicles that are better tailored for the Southeast Asia market.
It also aims to explore the possibility of building a factory in the region for the long term.