South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. that is ardently seeking to stay competitive in a race to develop next-generation mobility technology has teamed up with Southeast Asia’s largest car-hailing service provider Grab.
Hyundai Motor said on Thursday it will make a strategic investment in Grab, Singapore-based leading mobility service provider that dominates the lion’s share of 75 percent in the Southeast Asian ride-hailing market. The investment is reportedly estimated at tens of billions of won.
Founded in 2012, Grab, often dubbed Southeast Asian Uber, has rapidly expanded its foothold across 168 cities in eight Southeast Asian countries with 2.3 million registered drivers and 3.5 million daily service records.
Thanks to a boom in the online-to-offline (OTO) service business, the car-hailing market in Southeast Asia has burgeoned in recent years, elevating the region to the world’s third largest car-hailing market after China and the United States. About 4.6 million cars are used daily for the service across the region, falling far behind China’s 18 million but tightly competing with the U.S.’s 5 million. After China’s Didi Chuxing and American Uber, Singapore-based Grab also makes up the world’s third largest market share.
Under the partnership, Hyundai Motor and Grab plan to cooperate for Hyundai’s car supply expansion, joint marketing and platform development using eco-friendly vehicles like Hyundai’s electric vehicle Ioniq. They also agreed to amass various data together on vehicles, users and driving conditions to further upgrade the service.
“We’ll bring innovative changes in the Southeast Asian mobility industry by combining Grab’s business platform and Hyundai’s technologies,” said an official at the Korean automaker.
Since last year, Hyundai Motor Group that owns Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors Corp. has been rapidly expanding its investment in the development of new mobility, artificial intelligence (AI) and robot technologies. It has recently opened three new R&D centers to accelerate its development of the three core technologies and has invested in foreign startups with promising mobility, AI and robotic technologies.
By Lee Seung-hoon and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]