The world's two largest carmakers by sales have announced partnerships with rideshare companies in a move to profit from attractive mobility services to customers. The market has a huge business potential.
Toyota and Volkswagen announced separate partnerships seeing them buy into ridesharing operations.
Germany's VW said it had made a $300-million (269-million-euro) strategic investment in ridesharing firm Gett, which has a presence in more than 60 countries, including the UK, the US and Russia.
"The ride-hailing market represents the greatest market potential in on-demand mobility, while creating the technological platform for developing tomorrow's mobility business models," the Wolfsburg-based auto maker said in a statement.
Gett CEO Shahar Waiser said his company provided VW with the technology to expand beyond car ownership to on-demand mobility for consumers and businesses.
Lucrative business models
In a separate deal, Japanese carmaker Toyota and Gett rival Uber entered into a memorandum of understanding to explore collaboration, starting with trials in countries where ridesharing was expanding.
They said the partnership would create new options enabling car buyers to lease their vehicles from Toyota Financial Services and cover their payments with what they made as Uber drivers.
The two firms are also exploring cooperation on developing in-car apps and setting up a program to sell Toyota and Lexus vehicles to Uber.
VW and Toyota are not the first carmakers to link up with ridesharing firms. In March, General Motors and Lyft had unveiled a joint car rental service for drivers with a view to boosting the number of vehicles available.
hg/jd (AFP, AP)