After GM signed a deal with Lyft, Toyota Motor Corp. has done the same thing regarding venturing into the ride-sharing business as the automaker just announced that they have come into terms with Uber to explore the industry's opportunities.
Automotive News reported that the partnership includes Toyota set to create new leasing options. Basically, car buyers will be allowed to lease their vehicles from Toyota Financial Services. They will then cover their payments from the money that they get as Uber drivers.
Shigeki Tomoyama, the senior managing officer of Toyota Motor Corp., said in a statement that ride-sharing business has huge potential in the future of mobility. He noted that their collaboration with Uber will allow them to explore new ways of delivering their customers safely, conveniently, and attractively.
Toyota expressed that the investment will be the most that they would have with Uber as they have no interest making bigger investments in the future. They added that they do not want to take a big part in the ride-sharing company or let alone control it. Toyota also could get out of the investment smoothly once they decide to sever their ties.
Keisuke Kirimoto, a spokesman for Toyota, said that they hope the leasing options will begin by the second half of 2016. He added that they want to explore and see what happens with their pilot project.
Uber also released a statement regarding the new partnership. Uber said that Toyota is a global leader in the automotive industry and they are proud to be partners with them, Tech Crunch reported.
The Toyota and Uber partnership comes months after General Motors pledged to invest $500 million in Lyft, the main rival of Uber in the United States. GM and Lyft will develop an on-demand network of self-driving cars for the ride-sharing business, Bloomberg reported.
Other companies investing in the ride-hailing industry is Apple and Ford Motor Co. Apple said that they will be investing $1 billion in the Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing. Ford Motor Co. did not say whether or not they are venturing into the ride-hailing business but they did say that they have made recent partnerships that would allow them to do more aside from car manufacturing.