Toyota is reportedly set to invest $1 billion in a ride-sharing firm, showing that the recently struggling automotive company is looking to improve its fortunes with popular, modern technology.
The Japanese-based vehicle manufacturer is financially supporting Grab, which serves the larger Southeast Asian area, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Grab quite famously caused Uber, the most formidable player in the industry, to withdraw from the region with its proverbial tail in between its legs (although that might be for the better).
Toyota likely became more convinced in Grab’s potential after working with the firm in 2017 by analyzing the needs of drivers, like certain services such as tailored insurance policies. Drivers often rent vehicles and Toyota and Grab want to cultivate an environment so their commercial jurisdiction eventually includes the most available rental cars, according to TheWSJ.
While Toyota is still a powerhouse in the industry, multiple reports over the last few years or so have painted a grim picture of Toyota and its business prospects — although some of that was due to currency volatility.
The Toyota CEO has expressed the urgent need to foster new sources of revenue, TheWSJ reported, equating it to a situation of “surviving or dying.”
Investing in the future — or arguably the present, since ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are so often used and highly valued — could be the way to go for a company that wants to make a move to the fast lane.
Toyota, along with so many other companies in various industries, is also investing in self-driving technology, which is expected to be a huge economic booster, among other substantial and tangible benefits. (RELATED: Study: People Will Spend A Lot Of Extra Money For Their Car To Drive Itself)
Toyota is reportedly expected to have an executive of their own work at Grab in some respect, while also attaining a seat on Grab’s board of directors.
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