Toyota in US$600m Didi deal
Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday it will invest US$600 million in Didi Chuxing and form a joint venture to enhance services for ride-hailing industries and expand collaboration in "mobility as a service" in China.
The new venture will include Toyota's Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd (GAC) to provide vehicle-related services for ride-hailing drivers on Didi’s platform but it's still not clear how much stake each party would hold, according to a joint statement.
Toyota's smart driving platform e-Palette is already a part of the partnership with Didi to develop electric and autonomous vehicles.
"We look forward to combining Didi’s expertise in artificial intelligence-based large-scale mobility operations and Toyota’s leading connected vehicle technology to build a next-generation intelligent transportation framework for sustainable cities,” said Stephen Zhu, Didi’s senior vice president.
Didi has been expanding its service to include more corporate customers to provide vehicle maintenance and operation services after taking an overwhelming share of the ride-hailing market following its takeover of Uber's China business.
"I am delighted that we are strengthening our collaboration with Didi which utilizes Toyota's connected technologies and next-generation battery electric vehicle, and we will work with Didi to develop services that are more attractive, safe and secure for our customers in China," said Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota’s executive vice president and chairman of Toyota Connected.
Toyota is hoping electric vehicles will contribute half of its global sales by 2025 and is already working with Chinese battery makers including Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd and BYD Co. Didi also has joint ventures with Volkswagen and BAIC's new-energy vehicle unit.