Toyota makes record investment of $1 Billion in Grab

Toyota to make a sizable bet on Grab 

The Japanese company is pumping $1 billion into Singapore-based Grab — the biggest ever investment by a traditional automaker in a ride-hailing firm.

Toyota sees the partnership as an opportunity to allow Grab to purchase more vehicles and to push services like insurance and maintenance, Shigeki Tomoyama, the global head of Toyota’s connected car division, said in an interview this month in Nagoya, Japan.

The carmaker’s $1 billion investment is part of a broader fundraising round by Grab, which said it will use the money to further expand its food delivery service and mobile payment platformacross the region.

Toyota also has ties to Uber. It invested an undisclosed sum in the US company in 2016.

The explosive growth of the global ride-hailing industry and the rising interest in self-driving vehicles pose serious challenges for automakers. It is no longer enough to design, manufacture and sell cars, according to a report last month from consulting firm Bain & Company.

Car companies need to partner and invest in ride-hailing startups and other service providers “to capture their share of the growing profit pool [and] to compensate for slower growth in car sales,” said the report, which focused on China, the world’s biggest auto market.

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