The world’s biggest automaker has turned its attention to the ride-sharing market and has announced a partnership with Uber.
After General Motors announced it had teamed up with Lyft at the beginning of the year in a $500-million deal, many were left wondering what GM knew and the rest of the automotive giants didn’t. GM’s massive cash injection and Lyft’s strategy focuses on driverless cars for the future.
It took five months for the rest of the industry to catch up and Toyota has now chosen its ridesharing company. Toyota announced that its partnership with Uber was one of understanding and exploration, commonly known as a memorandum of understanding, and there’ll be trials and tests in different countries where ridesharing has proven popular.
Toyota’s senior managing officer, Shigeki Tomoyama, said in a joint statement: “Through this collaboration with Uber, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to customers.”
TMC made the investment in Uber from its Mirai Creation division, but no actual amount was announced.
There’ll be a big focus on leasing deals which will allow drivers to use Toyota’s vehicles and their earnings as Uber drivers will cover their payments. Toyota and Uber are also looking at in-car applications as well as a program to purchase vehicles directly.
Uber chief business officer Emil Michael said: “Toyotas are among the most popular cars on the Uber platform worldwide and we look forward to collaborating with Toyota in many ways in the future.
In the South African market, the Toyota Corolla Quest is a hot favourite among Uber drivers thanks to a sterling reputation for reliability and great cabin space. It was recently updated, which you can read about here.