Economy

Hyundai Is Investing in Grab, Uber's Biggest Rival in Southeast Asia

Hyundai Is Investing in Grab, Uber's Biggest Rival in Southeast Asia”

South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co 005380.KS said on Thursday it had invested in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab, as it seeks to expand into the region to reduce its reliance on China following a damaging diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing.

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.

Established in 2012, Grab is also known as the Uber of Southeast Asia, boasting a market share of some 75 percent in the region.

"The convergence of Grab's competitiveness in Southeast Asia and Hyundai's green vehicle technology will innovate the mobility service industry", said Chi Young-cho, executive vice president and chief innovation officer of Hyundai's strategy and technology division.

Hyundai's intent may also be related to promoting the brand in Southeast Asia.

More news: CES: Power cut at major Las Vegas electronics show

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".

Hyundai Motor vice chairman Chung Eui-sun said on Wednesday it is considering building a vehicle plant in Southeast Asia, possibly in Indonesia or Vietnam.

Singapore-based Grab, the biggest operator in the region's third-party taxi hailing and private-vehicle hailing sector, has expanded to eight Southeast Asian countries.

Besides offering ride-hailing services and possibly a car-sharing programme in future through the Hyundai partnership, Grab has also partnered with self-driving startup nuTonomy in a driverless auto trial in Singapore. Grab now delivers 3.5 million daily rides, has 2.3 million drivers and offers services that include private vehicle, motorbike, taxi and carpooling services across 168 cities. At the time, Grab noted that it was looking to raise an additional $500 million on the round, suggesting that could be the figure Hyundai has put on the table.



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