Toyota to make a "strategic investment" in Uber.
Toyota and Uber have signed a memorandum of understanding which seeks to explore the possibilities of collaboration in markets where ridesharing is expanding.
The companies were coy on specifics but confirmed plans to conduct a number of trials different continues. No names were given but the companies will take several factors into consideration including local regulations, business conditions, and customer needs.
As part of the partnership, the companies will enable Uber drivers to lease a Toyota vehicle from Toyota Financial Services and cover their payments through earnings generated as an Uber driver. Toyota says the leasing periods will be flexible and based on driver needs.
Toyota and Uber also will explore other areas of collaboration including developing apps to support Uber drivers and establishing a special fleet program to sell Toyota and Lexus vehicles to Uber.
In return, Toyota Financial Services and the Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership will make a "strategic investment" in Uber. There's no word on how much Toyota is investing but it's likely a considerable sum.
In a statement, Toyota senior managing officer Shigeki Tomoyama said “Ridesharing has huge potential in terms of shaping the future of mobility. Through this collaboration with Uber, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient, and attractive mobility services to customers.
His sentiments were echoed by Uber chief business officer Emil Michael how remarked, “We’re excited that Toyota, the largest automobile manufacturer in the world, is making a strategic investment in Uber as part of a broader global partnership. Toyota vehicles are among the most popular cars on the Uber platform worldwide and we look forward to collaborating with Toyota in multiple ways going forward, starting with the expansion of our vehicle financing efforts."