Toyota arm invests in ride-hailing firm Grab
Toyota Motor Corp. is pushing deeper into the ride-hailing business.
Toyota Tsusho, the automaker’s trading arm, will invest an undisclosed amount in Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing operator. Toyota Motor said it will work with Grab to provide services in the region, a year after the carmaker bought a small stake in Uber Technologies Inc. as it explores new revenue models.
“Through this collaboration with Grab, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to our fleet customers in Southeast Asia,” Shigeki Tomoyama, a senior managing officer at Toyota, said Wednesday.
Automobile manufacturers are working with and competing against technology companies to figure out how to make money from services to drivers as automation, electrification and on-demand transportation threaten to reshape the current model of individual car ownership.
Toyota will record and analyze driving patterns in 100 Grab cars in Singapore, and offer recommendations on what connected services it can provide Grab drivers, the two companies said in separate statements.
Honda Motor Co. also has invested in Grab, its first in a ride-sharing company, in a partnership aimed at expanding motorcycle-hailing operations in Southeast Asia.
Toyota’s investment in Grab will be through the $55 million Next Technology Fund set up in April by Toyota Tsusho for opportunities in innovative technologies, products and services.
Grab is aiming to raise $2.5 billion from the latest round of funding, of which it has previously announced $2 billion in investment from Didi Chuxing and SoftBank.