Hyundai puts $250 million in Grab in a bet on EV mobility era




Hyundai is bolstering its presence in the mobility battleground by targeting electrified-vehicle services. Photo credit: BLOOMBERG

SEOUL — Hyundai Motor Group agreed to invest an additional $250 million into Grab Holdings Inc. and sell a fleet of electric vehicles to the Singapore-based ride-hailing company as the automaker expands in mobility services.

Under a broadened strategic partnership between the two companies, Hyundai will start EV pilot projects with Grab in Singapore next year and collect consumer and driving data from the vehicles, Hyundai Motor Group Chief Innovation Officer Youngcho Chi said in an interview.

The South Korean company is actively considering an expansion of this EV mobility service into other Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Thailand, Chi said.

Key insights

Hyundai’s mobility strategy is a way for the automaker to gain greater exposure for its brand and extend its reach in Southeast Asia, a region where Japanese brands account for a majority of auto sales.

Hyundai is bolstering its presence in the mobility battleground by targeting electrified-vehicle services — it also invested in Indian car-sharing company Revv and plans to offer 200 Hyundai EV models to Grab in Singapore from 2019.

For Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest cab-hailing company, Hyundai’s latest investment takes its total fundraising to $2.7 billion and places it on track to reach a targeted $3 billion by the end of this year. The Korean automaker first invested $25 million in Grab in January. The partnership marks the first time Grab is buying a fleet of EVs from an automaker, joining a similar move by Didi Chuxing and Uber.

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