Toy­ota in­vests $1B in Grab

Cebu Daily News - - WORLD -

Tokyo — Ja­pan’s top au­tomaker Toy­ota Mo­tor Corp. is in­vest­ing $1 bil­lion in Grab, the lead­ing ride-hail­ing com­pany in South­east Asia, the com­pany said Wed­nes­day.

Toy­ota said it reached a deal with Grab Hold­ings to strengthen the ex­ist­ing part­ner­ship to grow in mo­bil­ity ser­vices in the re­gion.

A Toy­ota ex­ec­u­tive will be ap­pointed to Grab’s board and an­other Toy­ota of­fi­cial is be­ing tapped to be an ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer at Grab, the com­pany said.

Grab, which is sim­i­lar to Uber in the U.S., is in eight na­tions in the re­gion, in­clud­ing Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land and In­done­sia.

Uber’s South­east Asian op­er­a­tions were ac­quired by Grab ear­lier this year. Uber re­tained a 27.5 per­cent stake in the new merged en­tity.

Toy­ota was ini­tially cau­tious about ride-shar­ing and au­tonomous-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy.

In re­cent years, the maker of the Camry sedan, Prius hy­brid and Lexus lux­ury mod­els has been ag­gres­sively play­ing catchup, sign­ing on part­ners around the world.

Grab, based in Sin­ga­pore, has re­cently at­tracted in­vest­ments from SoftBank, a Ja­panese tech­nol­ogy and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany, and Didi Chux­ing, a Chinese rideshar­ing and au­tonomous driv­ing com­pany.

In Ja­pan, where Uber has been try­ing to grow, ride-shar­ing is fac­ing re­sis­tance from the na­tion’s pow­er­ful net­work­ing of cab com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially in ur­ban ar­eas like Tokyo. Toy­ota sup­plies the bulk of the ve­hi­cles used by such cab com­pa­nies.

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