Hyundai Motor invests in Southeast Asian ride-sharing Grab

Jeannie Matthews
January 12, 2018

While not forthcoming on the size of the investment, Grab said it plans to work with Hyundai on a number of initiatives that will include a new service based around its electric vehicles.

Grab, which account for 75 percent of Southeast Asia's car-hailing service markets, strives to cement its regional dominance vis-a-vis Uber by further expanding its services in Southeast Asia, the third-biggest mobility service market after China and the United States.

"Grab's expertise in the Southeast Asian market coupled with Hyundai's eco-vehicle leadership will bring innovative services to customers".

Reports have stated that Hyundai's interest in Southeast Asian region has increased as a result of the diplomatic disputes between China and South Korea, which has adversely impacted the growth prospects of the South Korean firms across the Chinese automobile sector. Young Cho Chi, chief innovation officer and head of Strategy and Technology Division, which was established a year ago to spearhead Hyundai's future innovation.

According to the release, the deal is part of Hyundai's "efforts to transform people's lives with disruptive technologies and services that materialize its visions for future mobility - clean, connected and freedom in mobility".

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"We are pleased to welcome Hyundai to our global network of strategic partners, and we are confident that we have an alliance of strong partners to push forward into Grab's next phase of long-term growth".

The amount Hyundai invested in Grab was not disclosed, but it's an extension of the company's Series G round of $2 billion announced in July from Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Group Corp.

The South Korean auto maker is already dabbling in car-sharing on its own in the US, Netherlands and Austria, where its Ioniq electric vehicles are available for rent in major cities such as Amsterdam and Vienna.

This latest round of investment by industry bigwigs should bolster Grab's position in Southeast Asia where it competes with key rivals such as the embattled Uber in markets like Singapore and Malaysia, as well as Go-Jek in Indonesia.

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