With car usage trends changing due the growing popularity of ride-sharing and car-sharing around the world, Toyota and Uber have entered into an agreement where the two companies will investigate developing a strategic partnership, and new mobility services for customers. The agreement also calls for Toyota to make an investment in Uber, but financial details of the deal haven't been released.
In addition, Toyota will roll out new lease options where customers can pay for their vehicle's lease through earnings garnered as Uber drivers. Lease periods will be flexible, and tailored around a particular driver's needs. This builds on top of Uber's current Vehicle Solutions program where partners can take advantage of other exclusive leases that include maintenance, discounts on new vehicle purchases and special financing offers from participating lenders.
"Ride-sharing 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, senior managing officer of Toyota.
"We're excited that Toyota, the largest automobile manufacturer in the world, is making a strategic investment in Uber as part of a broader global partnership. Toyota vehicles are among the most popular cars on the Uber platform worldwide and we look forward to collaborating with Toyota in multiple ways going forward, starting with the expansion of our vehicle financing efforts," said Uber's chief business officer, Emil Michael.
Toyota and Uber will also look at collaborating in additional areas, such as developing in-car apps to support Uber drivers, and putting together a special fleet program to sell Toyota and Lexus vehicles to Uber.
This agreement comes after General Motors recently dropped a lot of money in support of Uber car-sharing rival Lyft.