SEOUL (REUTERS) – Hyundai Motor Co. raised its roles in the emerging markets of Southeast Asia with a $ 250 million investment in Singapore Grab, the second place in a company approaching the car while pushing adversaries into the race for new years,
Investment is the largest Hyundai in the auto-engineering company, but is smaller than the ones made by others, including Toyota Motor Corp. However, it emphasizes the change of strategy in the South Korean conglomerate, which usually avoids partnerships in favor of developing its own technology.
Hyundai and subsidiary Kia Motors Corp. will launch electric vehicle pilot projects (EVs) in Southeast Asia next year, starting from Singapore, where 200 drivers will be leased to Grab's drivers, Hyundai said in a statement.
He said the project would later expand to countries, including Malaysia and Vietnam, where the markets of traditionally driven cars are dominated by Japanese rivals.
This move comes when Hyundai is struggling with slow sales on its two largest markets, China and the United States, while stock prices fell nearly a third of this year.
Hyundai has joined the global investment market for mobile companies, as the individual car owner is expected to drop due to part of increasing car sharing options in big cities.
"Not only Hyundai, but all global car makers have realized that generating revenue exclusively from vehicle sales is not a viable, sustainable option," Hyundai Chi Young-cho, chief innovation officer at Seoul, told reporters.
"It is better to disrupt than to disrupt," he said.
Earlier this year, Hyundai announced that it invested $ 25 million in a 0.45 percent share in Grab, joining investors such as Chinese company Didi Chuxing, Japanese SoftBank Group Corp and Toyota Motor Corp.
Grab has announced that he has raised $ 2.7 billion, including the latest Hyundai investment, to date and is on the road to attract more than $ 3 billion by the end of this year. President Grab's Ming Maa has told Reuters that the company has no plans yet for the public.
Partnership will help Grab reduce car ownership and operating costs for their drivers, said Mr. Maa. Lower costs help companies sing and drive drivers.
Hyundai expects to launch its own freight exchange service in selected markets next year, said Mr. Chi, who oversees new Hyundai companies, such as driving, artificial intelligence and robotics. He also said that the car maker looked at the opportunity to acquire, without giving details.
The automaker company seeks to collect data such as charging a leak from the car to Grab to develop vehicles that are better suited to Southeast Asia. He also hopes to explore the possibility of building a factory in the region for a longer period of time.
Southeast Asia EV market is very small. In the market this year, probably only 142 cars will be sold on the battery, compared to six last year, according to data from market researcher LMC Automotive.
EV sales this year will likely reach 693,894 units in China and 172,744 units in the United States, according to LMC data.