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May 25, 2016

Toyota and Uber ink ridesharing deal, while Volkswagen opts for Gett

News: The partnerships are the latest in a series of alliances between technology firms and automakers.

By CBR Staff Writer

Automakers Toyota and Volkswagen have announced separate partnerships with ride-hailing companies Uber and Gett.

Toyota Motor and Uber have entered into a memorandum of understanding to explore a collaboration, starting with trials in countries where ridesharing is expanding.

The agreement includes a strategic investment by Toyota and its Mirai Creation Investment unit.

The partnership will create new leasing options, allowing customers to lease their vehicles from Toyota and cover their payments via earnings generated as Uber drivers.

The companies will also look to develop in-car apps and the setting up of a special fleet programme to sell Toyota and Lexus vehicles to Uber.

Toyota Motor senior managing officer Shigeki Tomoyama said: "Ridesharing 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."

Uber chief business officer Emil Michael said: "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."

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Meanwhile, Volkswagen had made a $300m strategic investment in Uber competitor Gett, which is available in over 60 countries globally including London, Moscow and New York.

Volkswagen said the ride-hailing market has the better market potential in on-demand mobility, creating the technological platform for developing the future mobility business models.

On-demand mobility firm Gett will further expand its market presence with Volkswagen support.

The partnership is based on a joint growth strategy to expand on-demand mobility services in Europe.

Gett founder and CEO Shahar Waiser said: "The pay-per-ride domain is growing rapidly. In that context, Gett provides VW with the technology to expand beyond car ownership to on-demand mobility for consumers and businesses."

The partnerships are the latest in a series of alliances between technology firms and traditional automakers.

Earlier this year, General Motors announced a $500m investment in car hailing service provider Lyft to create a network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the US.

General Motors has also acquired the technology and majority of the assets of ride-hailing firm Sidecar Technologies.

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