Photo of 2015 Camry XLE courtesy of Toyota.
Toyota Motor Corp. has invested in Uber as part of a strategic agreement that could eventually provide new leasing options for Uber drivers who select Toyota vehicles.
Under the partnership, Toyota Financial Services will offer new leasing options that allow Uber drivers to cover their payments through the earnings they generate. TFS would offer a flexible leasing period, and the initiative would build on Uber's current Vehicle Solutions leasing program introduced in early 2014.
Toyota and Uber will explore collaboration in a variety of other areas, such as developing in-car apps that support Uber drivers, sharing knowledge and accelerating their respective research efforts, and establishing a special fleet program to sell Toyota and Lexus vehicles to Uber drivers.
"Ridesharing has huge potential in terms of shaping the future of mobility," said Shigeki Tomoyama, senior managing officer of Toyota. "Through this collaboration with Uber, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to customers."
The investment for an undisclosed amount comes from Toyota Financial Services Corporation and Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership that formed in November with the stated goal of investing in technologies that "help make a hydrogen-based society a reality."
General Motors has also made several investments in car- and ride-sharing, including acquiring a $500-million stake in Lyft and launching its own car-sharing service called Maven.