Hyundai to take Ioniq EV to Indonesia through Grab deal

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Hyundai to take Ioniq EV to Indonesia through Grab deal

Hyundai Motor will introduce its Ioniq electric vehicles (EV) in Indonesia through ride-hailing service Grab, the carmaker announced Friday.

To start off, 20 Ioniq EVs will be included in Grab’s vehicle lineup offered for ride-hailing services in the country from next year. The plan is to gradually expand this number until late 2020, Hyundai said.

One goal behind the initiative is to gain an early foothold in Indonesia’s EV market, which has just begun to grow. EV sales in the country are still minimal, with a few global car brands selling products through imports.

However, the Indonesian government has shown strong intentions to develop the market, including tax cuts, and is currently considering other benefits.

“The service’s launch is in line with the Indonesian government’s eco-friendly policy directions and will be an opportunity for Hyundai to gain an early foothold in the market and build up consumer experience to renovate our image as an innovative company,” Hyundai said in a statement.

The inclusion of Ioniq vehicles in Grab, a leading car-hailing app in Asia, is also part of large initiative for the Korean carmaker to develop mobility services in the long run.

A partnership with Grab plays a big role in this direction, especially in the Southeast Asian market. In its recently announced “2025 vision,” the Korean company said it would use partnerships with local mobility service providers to expand its presence in the Southeast Asia and Australian markets.

So far, Hyundai has invested a total of $275 million in the Singapore-based company, dubbed the Uber of Southeast Asia.

In fact, Indonesia is the second market where the two companies launched a joint project that combines ride-hailing and EVs. This year, Hyundai supplied 200 EVs of its Kona brand to run on Grab’s ride-hailing service in Singapore.

“Such projects help collect information on the charging infrastructure, distance and satisfaction level of drivers and passengers which can be used in turn to develop EV-based ride-hailing services for the future,” said Hyundai.

Hyundai’s foothold in Indonesia, as in other Southeast Asian countries, is smaller than Japanese automakers. The company has been increasing investment to expand its presence there. In November, it announced it would establish its first vehicle production plant in Southeast Asia. The factory, located in Indonesia, will start mass production of 150,000 units per year in 2021.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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