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Hyundai partners with Grab ride-hailing app

Jan 12,2018
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Hyundai Motor formed a strategic partnership with Grab, a leading ride-hailing app in Southeast Asia, as it continues to seek out collaborations with local start-ups to expand its business beyond traditional auto manufacturing.

Korea’s top automaker announced Thursday that it has invested in the Singapore-based start-up to collaborate on its ride-hailing service. The partnership will start with Hyundai Motor providing its Ioniq Electric car as the vehicle for Grab’s car-hailing service in selected countries, including Singapore.

The size of the investment was not disclosed, but industry insiders speculate it mounts up to tens of billion won.

“Car-hailing services using eco-friendly vehicles are emerging as a new trend in Southeast Asian countries,” said Hyundai Motor in a statement. “[The new partnership] is expected to positively influence Hyundai Motor’s reputation as well,” the company added.

The joint service will enable Hyundai Motor and Grab to collect data on vehicles, users and journeys for future service upgrades, the automaker said.

Hyundai Motor’s latest strategy to survive in the turbulent automotive industry is moving into the car-sharing industry by joining forces with local start-ups and ventures.

In Korea, it joined forces with car-pool start-up Luxi with a 5 billion won investment ($4,650).

The two companies co-developed the Smart Carpool Matching technology to better match drivers and riders based on data collected from Hyundai Motor’s connected car service Blue Link. Co-developing RobotCab, a driverless taxi and unmanned delivery vehicles were also on their agenda in the long-term.

Overseas, Hyundai Motor is providing its Ioniq Electric to U.S. car-sharing company WaiveCar. It also launched a car-sharing service using the Ioniq in Amsterdam last October.

Joining forces with Grab is a two-track strategy to expand its car-sharing business as well as penetrate the rapidly changing auto industry.

“Grab’s service competitiveness, which has been polished in Southeast Asia countries, will get more innovative once combined with Hyundai Motor’s eco-friendly technology,” Ji Young-jo, vice president of Hyundai Motor Group, said. Southeast Asia is considered the third biggest market for car-sharing after China and the United States.

Grab which was launched in 2012 by Anthony Tan, the current CEO and Tan Hooi Ling, now operates in eight Southeast Asian countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]