Sunday, 15 July, 2018


Toyota makes record $1 billion investment in ride-hailing firm Grab

Toyota showroom An employee of Toyota Motor Corp. prepares for an event at Mega Web a renewed Toyota in Tokyo Wednesday Nov. 6 2013
Conrad Doyle | 13 June, 2018, 16:03

Grab's main rival is now Indonesia's Go-Jek which last month said it would invest $500 million to begin expanding overseas. Meanwhile Japan's SoftBank Group Corp - also an investor in Grab and Uber - last month said it would invest $2.25 billion in GM's autonomous vehicle unit Cruise.

Grab will also work with Toyota on connected vehicle services such as user-based insurance, financing programmes and predictive maintenance features for Grab's drivers. Grab recently took over Uber's Southeast Asia operations after years of competition, and is now going head-to-head in Indonesia with rival Go-jek. When Grab claimed the Softbank investment of $US250 million in 2014, it was at the time the largest made into a South East Asian internet company on public record.

One Toyota executive will be appointed to Grab's board of directors and a dedicated Toyota team member will be seconded to Grab as an executive officer.

On April 8, Uber's rideshare service disappeared and commuters in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam switched over to the Grab app.

Toyota said on Wednesday that it reached a deal with Grab Holdings to strengthen a partnership they already have in order to grow in mobility services in the region.

This is not Toyota's first foray into ride-hailing.

As part of this agreement, Toyota will invest US$1 billion (RM4 billion) in Grab.

Toyota has installed its driving recorder devices in some vehicles operated by Grab, using the collected data stored in its mobility services platform to analyse driving patterns and develop vehicle services.

Grab and Toyota will roll out connected auto services, such as telematics-based insurance, which could reduce the cost of insurance premiums for safer Grab drivers, said Grab.

The fresh funds will allow Grab to further expand services such as its food delivery service GrabFood and mobile payments GrabPay to more countries across the region.

"We will work with partners like Toyota to continue to transform transportation in Southeast Asia", Grab said in an email.

Other carmakers such as Daimler, BMW and Ford have dabbled in investing and developing their own ride-hailing services.

"We look forward to executing the same vision of the future".

"I am delighted that we are strengthening our collaboration, which utilises Toyota's connected technologies, with Grab".

"Going forward, together with Grab, we will develop services that are more attractive, safe and secure for our customers in Southeast Asia", Toyota executive Shigeki Tomoyama said in a statement. The company's app has been downloaded onto over 100 million mobile devices and the firm logs over 6 million rides per day.

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