[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai Motor Group said on Nov. 8 it has raised its stake in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab, by investing US$250 million, its second round of investment after 28.40 billion won (US$25 million) in January.
Founded in 2012, Grab is the third-largest ride-hailing app following Didi Chuxing Technology and Uber Technology. Grab occupies about 75 percent of the Southeast Asian market.
The investment is seen as Hyundai’s strategic move to transform itself from a car manufacturer to a mobility platform. With the recent investment in Grab, Hyundai has made a total of seven investments in mobility companies. In July, it bought a stake in Immotor, a Chinese e-scooter maker, for an undisclosed amount, A$2 million (US$1.4 million) in Australian car sharing company Car Next Door and 22.5 billion won in Mesh Korea.
Hyundai Motor Chief Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun (right) shake hands with Grab founder and CEO Anthony Tan at a forum in Singapore on Nov. 6 after agreeing to invest US$250 million in the ride-hailing service.
“The global car industry is shifting to car sharing rather than owning a car. It is good news that Hyundai is carrying out investments in the sector, albeit belatedly,” said Lee Hang-koo, a researcher at Korea Institute for International Economics and Trade.
Based on the partnership, Hyundai and Grab will launch a ride-sharing service with electric vehicles in Singapore next year as its first project. Hyundai will provide 200 EVs, followed by Kia Motors. The project will expand to Vietnam and Malaysia, the company said.
“Our goal is to provide the experience of electric cars to potential customers in Southeast Asia, which is expected to become the new hub for EVs,” said Ji Young-jo, vice president of Hyundai Motor. “We hope we can preoccupy the EV market in Southeast Asia through this partnership.”
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)