South Korean automotive manufacturer, Hyundai, has just announced an investment of $6.2m in car sharing platform Car Next Door, taking its total injection in the last 12 months to more than $8m – and marking what is believed to be the biggest investment from an automotive manufacturer in an Australian service mobility player.
Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Executive Officer JW Lee said the investment will see the development of ‘sharing ready’ cars, with the new technology just becoming available in the marketplace.
“We are pleased to directly collaborate with peer-to-peer marketplace Car Next Door to open up new mobility options and expand the use of a car for a Hyundai car owner,” said Mr JW Lee.
“This is the future of connected green cars, where the ability to car share is built into the hard-wiring of the car making it easy for one car to be used by multiple people.”
“This capability has been pre-installed and seamlessly integrated into Hyundai cars, making it easy for Hyundai owners to earn extra money from their car when they are not using it via Car Next Door’s innovative sharing platform.”
“Other features include access and ability to unlock and start the car via a mobile phone app – ultimately negating the need for traditional keys.”
Any Hyundai vehicle with Auto Link Premium, can now be shared with neighbours with the click of a button. For owners of recent Hyundai vehicles, the connective technology can be installed in minutes.
What next for Car Next Door?
Car Next Door CEO and co-founder Will Davies says we are going to see a lot more sharing capabilities in vehicles as the mobility market changes.
“Car Next Door provides car owners with immediate access to our network of 150,000 car borrowers making it really easy for car owners to offset the cost of their vehicle.”
“The average car in Australia is used for only 4 percent of the time. For that 96 percent of the time they sit idle, they could be used to create an extra income and help to reduce parking congestion and pressure on our roads,” says Mr Davies.
The investment is also fueling Car Next Door’s Australia-wide expansion — allowing for peer-to-peer car sharing to move out of the urban centres.
In the last six months there has also been an increase in car sharing subscription services such as Carbar, HelloCars, Carly and Blinker, while Honda recently launched its own service Drivible.
Car Next Door is Australia’s largest peer-to-peer car sharing platform. There are more than 150,000 people using the platform and over 3,000 cars listed. It is running in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra and Perth. Car rental costs are from $5/hour or $25/day plus 21 to 45 cents per kilometre.
The average person in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane makes $3500-$7000 renting their car out when they aren’t using it, while some high earners, in particular those with utes and vans, are bringing in upwards of $10,000-$12,000 a year.
On why Hyundai is investing in something which, on the face of it, discourages people from buying new cars, Keith Noh, Deputy General Manager, Hyundai Corporate Venture Capital Team remarked, “We’re investing in innovative startups like Car Next Door because we want to be part of innovation through collaboration. The market is moving to shared mobility regardless of what Hyundai Motor’s strategy or will is, so it is clear that our best option is to pursue what customers want rather than what we might like in our ideal world.”
“Increased sales to Mobility service providers is only one of reasons why we invested in Car Next Door. But OEMs including Hyundai Motors are trying to do more than that through open innovation with Mobility service providers around the world. We’re currently in the middle of process of innovating around the value chain of the auto-industry, and part of that is exploring new business models like car-sharing, ride-sharing and subscription which can, over time, provide maximum benefits for our customers.”