Hyundai will pour millions into Australian company Car Next Door in a bid to bolster its share-car credentials.
The South Korean manufacturer, the fifth most sold brand in Australia over the 12 months to January, on Tuesday committed to investing a further $6.2 million in funding to develop the sharing capabilities of its fleet.
It’s a sign of the times for carmakers, with the rise of car-sharing services such as Car Next Door, Go Get and Carbar aggravating a 10.1 per cent slide in new vehicle sales to August 31.
But rather than curse the trend, Hyundai is instead embracing the technology to incentivise sales, injecting more than $8 million into the Sydney-based business in the past 12 months.
“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,” Hyundai chief executive JW Lee said.
The average Australian car is used for just four per cent of the year, sitting idle and often clogging up public parking spaces for the rest of that time.
Hyundai’s Auto Link Premium app means owners can open and start their car without a key, allowing them to share it with Car Next Door’s 150,000 car borrowers.
Mr Lee said the technology makes it easier for Hyundai owners to earn extra cash when they’re not using their vehicles as Car Next Door renters rake in roughly $3,500 to $7,000 a year in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.