Toyota to buy $1bn stake in ride-hailing provider Grab

Investment in southeast Asian provider underlines shift from manufacturing to services

The deal extends Toyota’s co-operation with Grab, the largest ride-hailing service in southeast Asia, the carmaker said. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

The deal extends Toyota’s co-operation with Grab, the largest ride-hailing service in southeast Asia, the carmaker said. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

 

Toyota is to buy a $1 billion stake in Grab in one of the largest investments by a carmaker in a ride-hailing provider. The move underscores the push by the auto industry to move from manufacturing to services.

The deal extends Toyota’s co-operation with Grab, the largest ride-hailing service in southeast Asia, the carmaker said in a statement, without disclosing what percentage of Grab it will own.

A Toyota executive will be appointed to Grab’s board, and another Toyota employee will be seconded to Grab to as an executive officer.

The car industry is racing with technology companies to gain ground in mobility services such as vehicle sharing and ride hailing, which are set to reduce the need for auto ownership. Toyota has also backed San Francisco-based Uber and made investments in Japan Taxi, an Uber rival run by the chairman of Tokyo’s biggest taxi operator.

Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s president, has also sought out partnerships with tech companies as part of his bet that data will be a key part of the company’s future.

Toyota already invested an undisclosed amount in Grab last year. Since then, Grab has boosted its grip on southeast Asia by buying Uber’s business in the region. Six-year-old Grab faces fierce competition from Indonesian rival Go-Jek, which is expanding ride-hailing and other services in southeast Asia. – Bloomberg