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Toyota and Uber are looking for a way to “explore collaboration, starting with trials, in the world of ridesharing.”
The companies announced Tuesday that they had entered a “memorandum of understanding” to start exploring how they could work together. That begins Tuesday with new leasing options from Toyota that let Uber drivers cover their payments with their earnings.
Toyota Financial Services Corp. and Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership will also be making a strategic investment in Uber. The amount was not disclosed.
“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 Emil Michael, chief business officer of Uber, in the press release.
It’s not the first time a traditional automaker has come knocking on a ride-hailing company’s door.
The Uber-Toyota collaboration comes on the heels of Volkswagen announcing a $300 million investment in Uber competitor Gett.
Uber’s other rival, Lyft, may be a better example though of a direction Uber could take in a newly minted collaboration. Lyft previously received half a billion from General Motors. Lyft and GM have since teamed up on projects like providing rental cars to people who want to drive for Lyft.