Toyota and Uber in ridesharing deal

Toyota and Volkswagen are going head-to-head in the ridesharing space by making investments in Uber and Israeli ridesharing operator Gett, respectively.

Toyota and VW have followed General Motors by investing in ridesharing tech firms
Toyota and VW have followed General Motors by investing in ridesharing tech firms

The Japanese company – the world’s biggest carmaker – announced this morning it had entered into a memorandum of understanding with Uber, which it said was intended to "explore collaboration, starting with trials, in the world of ridesharing in countries where ridesharing is expanding, taking various factors into account such as regulations, business conditions, and customer needs."

The partnership will involve new leasing options, allowing car purchasers to lease their vehicles from Toyota Financial Services and cover payments through earnings generated as Uber drivers. Toyota said the initiative built on Uber's current Vehicle Solutions program.

"Ridesharing has huge potential in terms of shaping the future of mobility. Through this collaboration with Uber, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to customers," said Shigeki Tomoyama, president of Toyota’s Connected Company.

Come Gett some of this

Meanwhile, VW announced yesterday it had bought a $300m stake in Gett  formerly called GetTaxi which operates in 60 cities globally, and is found in half of London’s black cabs.

Gett’s business model is "based exclusively on licensed drivers who have a permit to carry passengers and are committed to providing safe, reliable mobility"  in contrast to Uber, which has run into regulatory trouble in many cities.

VW chairman Matthias Müller said the deal reflected its ambition to be the world’s leading mobility provider by 2025.

Shahar Waiser, Gett's founder and CEO, said: "The Volkswagen Group and Gett is a great strategic partnership. The pay-per-ride domain is growing rapidly. In that context, Gett provides VW with the technology to expand beyond car ownership to on-demand mobility for consumers and businesses."

The moves from Toyota and VW come five months after General Motors put $500m into Lyft.

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