With the volume of new car sales in Australia falling, carmaker Hyundai has looked to new alternatives for growth, with a multimillion-dollar investment in a local car-sharing platform.
The South Korean carmaker announced on Tuesday (17 September) a $6.2 million investment in Australian car-sharing platform Car Next Door, building on the $2 million it had already invested into the tech company.
The platform was established in Sydney in 2013, and now also operates in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and the Gold Coast.
Hyundai’s Australian CEO, JW Lee, said the partnership would help to “open up new mobility options and expand the use of a car for a Hyundai car owner”.
“This is the future of connected green cars, where the ability to car-share is built into the hardwiring of the car, making it easy for one car to be used by multiple people,” he said.
According to Car Next Door’s CEO, Will Davies, the platform has 150,000 car borrowers using its platform, giving access to those who don’t have or can’t afford a car, while allowing vehicle owners to rent out cars when they are not in use.
My Business was advised that around 20 per cent of its user base are businesses.
“The average car in Australia is used for only 4 per cent of the time. For that 96 per cent 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,” Mr Davies said.
According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), new vehicle sales in Australia last month were down by 10.1 per cent on the same month in 2018, on the back of a 2.8 per cent fall in July.
Passenger vehicle sales plummeted by 16.7 per cent year-on-year in August 2019, while light commercial vehicle sales also slumped by 8.6 per cent.
“There’s no doubt it is a very tough market at the moment. And despite the best efforts of the industry, the decrease in sales continues,” FCAI’s chief executive, Tony Weber, said when releasing the figures on 4 September.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) previously compiled data on new vehicle sales, but ceased doing so in 2017.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.