The Strategist

Honda Motor invested in GrabTaxi

12/14/2016 - 13:38

Honda Motor invested in Singapore taxi service GrabTaxi Holdings. The latter may these funds to compete with Uber growing in Southeast Asia. Volume of the Japanese automaker’s investment has not been disclosed.

The deal with Honda took place less than two weeks after GrabTaxi announced cooperation with the largest Japanese car leasing company Tokyo Century. In September, Grab raised $ 750 million during another round of investments. The largest investor was SoftBank, and the Singapore-based company has been valued at $ 3 billion in total. Representative of Grab said that this round of funding was also supported by Tokyo Century.

Automakers around the world are investing millions of dollars in taxi and car sharing start-ups. They hope to diversify their businesses and prepare for a future in which far fewer people will own a car. Toyota Motor has invested in Uber and car sharing start-up Getaround. General Motors is one of investors in Lyft, and Volkswagen Group chose taxi service Gett. 

Partnership with Grab gives Honda access to transportation market in Indonesia, which, according to Google and Temasek's estimates, by 2025 will grow to $ 5.6 billion from $ 800 million in 2015. Grab, in turn, can help Honda compete in motorcycle taxi market in Southeast Eastern Asia.

"We are studying how else we can use our bikes, in addition to direct sales to customers," - said representative of the Honda. The company looks forward to sales growth since motorcycles in such services are actively used, and, therefore, have to be changed frequently.

Partnering with the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world will facilitate development of motorcycle service GrabBike, said President of the company Maa Ming. He added that it is still too early to talk about partnership with Honda in the field of self-driving cars.

Last week, Uber announced launch of service UberMotor in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta. Uber’s main Indonesian competitor is a local giant Go-Jek, which brings together 250 000 drivers of cars and motorcycles in the country. Merger of Uber China and Didi Chuxing Technology opened up new opportunities for the company in South East Asia and India.

Honda Motor (Japan) in October 2016 has increased production at its plants around the world by 2% - up to 422.1 thousand vehicles compared to the same period in 2015, as follows from materials of the Japanese automaker.

According to the company, monthly production for the first six months in Japan decreased by 1.3%, to 74.49 thousand units. For Asia, this October was a record in terms of vehicles produced (150.7 thousand units). Sales of the automaker in Japan has grown for the second consecutive month in October, up 3.3%, or 57.1 thousand units. Freed minivan was fifth by number of registrations in October in Japan, and Fit - seventh. For ten months in 2016, dealers sold 549.1 thousand units - 4.9% less than in January - October 2015.

It is also reported that Honda exported 12.46 thousand cars from Japan in October 2016. This is 12.1% more than the year before.

Net profit of car and motorcycle manufacturer Honda Motor in the second quarter of 2016-2017 fiscal year amounted to 177 billion yen ($ 1.68 billion), up 38.6% compared to the same period last year.