Hyundai invests in ride-hailing firm Grab

A Grab motorbike helmet is displayed during Grab's fifth anniversary news conference in Singapore

Under the agreement, Hyundai and Grab will jointly explore ways to develop and provide innovative services to Southeast Asian customers, including a new mobility service platform that will use Hyundai's eco-friendly models such as the IONIQ Electric.

"Hyundai's strategic investment in Grab marks the beginning of an exciting new partnership between the two parties, bringing Hyundai one step closer to realizing its vision for future mobility", said Hyundai's chief innovation Officer, Dr.

The Hyundai Motor Company, a reputed automotive firm headquartered in South Korea, has reportedly made huge investments in Grab, a Singapore-based firm offering car-sharing services to a dedicated consumer base. It doesn't mention self-driving vehicles specifically amid the long list of buzzwords, but Hyundai is exploring autonomous vehicle technology through a partnership with Volkswagen Group and Aurora Innovation Inc. announced last week.

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Reports have stated that Hyundai's interest in Southeast Asian region has increased as a result of the diplomatic disputes between China and South Korea, which has adversely impacted the growth prospects of the South Korean firms across the Chinese automobile sector. That means Grab could possibly tap into whatever that partnership delivers.

The South Korean auto maker is already dabbling in car-sharing on its own in the US, Netherlands and Austria, where its Ioniq electric vehicles are available for rent in major cities such as Amsterdam and Vienna.

Hyundai has not disclosed estimates for 2017 China sales but sales of 900,000 would still be far below its production capacity of 1.65 million vehicles in its biggest market. Firms such as Hyundai have apparently joined the likes of Softbank, Toyota Tsusho, and Didi Chuxing that had also invested in the current fundraising move by Grab. The Grab app has been downloaded onto over 77m mobile devices, giving passengers access to the region's largest land transportation fleet comprising over 2.3m drivers.

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