Toy­ota in­vest­ing $1B in ride-share firm Grab

The Phnom Penh Post - - BUSINESS -

TOY­OTA said on Wed­nes­day that it was in­vest­ing $1 bil­lion in Asia rideshare com­pany Grab, as the Ja­panese au­tomaker looks to ex­pand be­yond its core busi­ness into the “mo­bil­ity” sec­tor.

Grab, which is head­quar­tered in Sin­ga­pore, is a lead­ing player in the ride-share in­dus­try in Asia, and ear­lier this year agreed to ac­quire US gi­ant Uber’s re­gional op­er­a­tions.

In a state­ment, Toy­ota said the deal “is aimed at achiev­ing con­nec­tiv­ity for Grab’s rental car fleet across South­east Asia, and at rolling out var­i­ous con­nected ser­vices through­out the re­gion that utilise ve­hi­cle data” stored by Toy­ota.

Toy­ota will place one of its ex­ec­u­tives on Grab’s board, and a sec­ond Toy­ota team mem­ber will serve as an ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer at the com­pany, which Toy­ota called the “part­ner of choice for ride-hail­ing in the re­gion”.

Chang­ing in­dus­try

The in­vest­ment comes as Toy­ota works to adapt to what com­pany pres­i­dent Akio Toy­oda calls “pro­found change” in the in­dus­try.

Last month, Toy­oda pledged to trans­form the auto gi­ant to meet a “once-in-a-cen­tury challenge”.

“I have de­cided to trans­form Toy­ota from a car man­u­fac­turer to a mo­bil­ity com­pany,” he said, with­out of­fer­ing much de­tail on what that would en­tail be­yond pro­vid­ing “var­i­ous ser­vices in­volv­ing move­ment of peo­ple around the world”.

Grab op­er­ates across Asia and agreed to ac­quire Uber’s South­east Asian busi­ness ear­lier this year.

The deal has run into trou­ble though, with Sin­ga­pore say­ing in April that it would im­pose re­stric­tions on the ac­qui­si­tion un­til it con­cludes a probe into whether the sale may have in­fringed com­pe­ti­tion rules.

Un­der the deal, Uber was to re­ceive a 27.5 per­cent stake in Grab.

Grab en­tered into the Cam­bo­dian ride-share mar­ket in De­cem­ber of 2017 and has since rolled out its Grab Bike ser­vice which of­fers rides on mo­tor­bikes.

GOH CHAI HIN/AFP

Grab Bike rid­ers wait for pas­sen­gers out­side a com­muter train sta­tion in Jakarta on Wed­nes­day.

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