Toyota has announced an exciting partnership with Uber, the ride-hailing market leader, to develop new leasing options for drivers together. Toyota has also made an investment in the online transportation network company that is gaining popularity. However, the exact sum is not unveiled.
Mashable informs that the partnership became “the latest in what is quickly starting to resemble a high-powered corporate dance to determine the future of automotive travel.”
“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,” Emil Michael, Chief Business Officer of Uber, said in a statement.
Uber is not the first startup in the sphere that partners with car companies. Right before the announcement of Toyota-Uber partnership, Uber’s rival Gett and Volkswagen unveiled a similar cooperation and Volkswagen’s investment in the startup in the amount of $300 million.
Volkswagen underlined the importance of its investment in the official announcement: “Alongside our pioneering role in the automotive business, we aim to become a world leading mobility provider by 2025. Within the framework of our future Strategy 2025, the partnership with Gett marks the first milestone for the Volkswagen Group on the road to providing integrated mobility solutions that spotlight our customers and their mobility needs.”
Lyft, Uber’s chief competitor in the U.S., got $500 million from General Motors in the beginning of the year. The two companies are going to collaborate to develop a fleet of self-driving cars.
Another Uber’s chief rival, this time in China, Didi Chuxing, boasted of $1 billion investment from Apple earlier this month.
Despite the fact that of all these companies Uber was the last to get its big car company backer, it has totally raised $9 billion in financing to date from corporations like Google and Baidu. The sum is much bigger than that of all three competitors combined.
Uber as well as its rivals clearly understands the importance of partnership relations with world’s leading car companies. Such a support can provide access to cars at rates more amenable to drivers and thus streamline the ceaseless expansion process in key markets.
The car companies benefit as well. They seem like taking their place in the fast-growing car-hailing market – a market that can cut into car sales further down the road.