Hyundai Motor has invested in Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab, Uber’s biggest ride-hailing rival in Southeast Asia, as the South Korean automaker looks to expand beyond its traditional business of producing and selling vehicles.
Grab has expanded to eight Southeast Asian countries and has said it is the biggest operator in the region’s third-party taxi hailing and private-vehicle hailing sector, Reuters reported.
The companies will jointly develop services in Southeast Asia, including one utilizing Hyundai’s eco-friendly models such as the IONIQ Electric, the two firms said in a statement, the news agency reported.
They did not disclose the value of Hyundai’s investment and a spokeswoman for the automaker declined to comment further.
In a statement, Dr. Young Cho Chi, Chief Innovation Officer and head of Strategy & Technology Division of Hyundai Motor, said, “Grab’s expertise in the Southeast Asian market coupled with Hyundai’s eco-vehicle leadership will bring innovative services to customers. We will continue expanding collaboration with leading mobility service providers in the world.” Mr. Chi was quoted on DealStreetAsia.
The strategic partnership will “help Hyundai explore new opportunities in the sharing economy and enhance its capability to lead future mobility” in the ASEAN market. Additionally, Grab and Hyundai will collaborate to develop and offer new services to customers in the region, DealStreetAsia reported.
Hyundai said it is considering building a car plant in Southeast Asia, possibly in Indonesia or Vietnam, Reuters reported.
The company’s interest in the region has grown since a diplomatic row between Beijing and Seoul last year hurt South Korean firms that are highly reliant on the Chinese market.
The automaker also announced for the first time a self-driving technology partnership with Silicon Valley start-up Aurora earlier this month, a shift from its usual preference for developing technology itself, the agency reported.