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Hyundai, Kia to invest US$250 mln in ride-hailing firm Grab

All Headlines 10:50 November 07, 2018

SEOUL, Nov. 7 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's two biggest carmakers, will invest 284 billion won (US$250 million) to buy stakes in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab Inc. as they move to expand their market presence.

Under the stake investment, Hyundai will provide the initial volume of 200 electric vehicles to Grab early next year, and Kia is considering providing its own electric cars to the Asian ride-hailing giant, Hyundai Motor Group said in a statement on Wednesday.

"For Hyundai and Kia, the investments are aimed at preemptively entering Southeast Asia's electric car markets and gaining a share in the EV-based ride-hailing services markets there," a company spokesman said over the phone.

The auto group didn't provide more details about the amount of the stake investment.

In partnership with Grab, the Korean carmakers will provide EV-based ride-hailing services starting in Singapore next year and then expand the services in other Southeast Asian markets such as Vietnam and Malaysia, the statement said.

Southeast Asian countries increasingly offer tax cuts for EV purchases and are making investments in their charging infrastructure for EVs. Demand for EVs in Southeast Asia is expected to soar from 2,400 units next year to 38,000 units in 2021 and to 340,000 in 2025, it said.

On top of supplying EVs, the carmakers are planning to provide maintenance and repair services for vehicles operated by Grab and to offer car finance services customized for the EVs.

In January, Hyundai Motor invested $25 million in Grab.

In a telephone interview with Yonhap News Agency in August, Grab President Ming Maa said, "Hyundai has some of the world's leading technology on electric vehicles, and we're very, very excited to work with them on what we believe is to be sustainable mobility for consumers in Southeast Asia."

Citing Hyundai's January investment, he said the partnership with Hyundai is meant to expand the objective of extending its EV footprint.

In this photo taken on Nov. 6, 2018, and provided by the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, Hyundai Motor Group Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun (R) shakes hands with Anthony Tan, founder and CEO of Grab, at a Singapore hotel during the Bloomberg forum. (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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