Toyota has announced that it will invest US$600 million (RM2.47 billion) in China’s ride-hailing giant DiDi Chuxing. The two companies will also use part of the cash injection to form a joint venture company with GAC Toyota – a car manufacturing company headquartered in Guangzhou – for vehicle-related services for ride-hailing drivers.
Through this agreement, Toyota and DiDi plan to fully implement the services that they have been developing in China, primarily for the benefit of their ride-hailing business. Toyota also plans to introduce and promote the widespread use of battery electrified vehicles (BEVs) for future mobility services in China, an effort that has seen it team up with BYD to introduce BEVs by the first half of 2020.
Toyota executive vice president, Shigeki Tomoyama said: “I am delighted that we are strengthening our collaboration, which utilises Toyota’s connected technologies and next-generation BEVs, with DiDi, China’s mobility service market leader. Looking ahead, we will work with DiDi to develop services that are more attractive, safe, and secure for our customers in China.”
DiDi’s senior vice president, Stephen Zhu, added: “DiDi is committed to help our cities achieve new energy and smart transportation goals with partners from home and abroad. We look forward to combining DiDi’s expertise in AI-based large-scale mobility operations and Toyota’s leading connected vehicle technology to build a next-generation intelligent transportation framework for sustainable cities.”
The move is bucking a trend in China which has seen automakers launch their own ride-hailing services, and ride-hailing firms such as DiDi team up with automakers to develop purpose-built cars for their services.