South Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. has joined hands with Russia’s Skolkovo Foundation to launch car-sharing service in its latest move to go beyond selling cars and ride on the mobility segment which is in a bottleneck on home turf due to regulations and opposition from existing industry.
Hyundai Motor said on Wednesday that it signed a partnership agreement with Skolkovo Foundation, the agency managing Skolkovo Innovation Center, a scientific and technology area in Moscow, on creating a startup for car-sharing service. Under the agreement, Hyundai Motor will create a new mobility lab inside Skolkovo Innovation Center and develop mobile platform solutions.
The new startup will aim to make headway in the growing mobility segment in Russia after launching Hyundai Mobility, a car-sharing service brand, in the second half of this year.
Hyundai Motor has been aggressive in strengthening offshore mobility business by investing in or launching shared economy services in Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East, as part of its efforts to transform into a global company that provides smart mobility solutions.
Son Kyung-soo, executive director and head of Hyundai Motor’s Russia region, said that the partnership with Skolkovo Foundation will allow it to become the first among industry players to advance into Russia’s mobility market. It will also continuously engage in transformation and innovation to provide convenient and new car-sharing service to customers that keeps up with market trends, he said.
Viktor Vekselberg, president of Skolkovo Innovation Center, said that the partnership with Hyundai Motor, a leading player in the auto industry in Russia, will provide new technology and business models to the country’s future auto industry.
The new startup, Hyundai Mobility, meanwhile, will be a car-sharing service led by a finished carmaker that provides convenient service to customers for unlimited hours such as test drives, actual car use for a set period of time, regular use, and car purchase. Hyundai Motor said that the latest service is an extension to its existing test driving program offered at its dealer centers in Russia.