Toyota Motor Corp announced recently that it plans to invest $600 million USD in Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing. The investment by Toyota accelerates a trend in China, which has seen automakers launch their own ride-hailing services, and ride-hailing firms such as Didi team with automakers to develop purpose-built cars for their services.
Executives from Toyota who made the announcement said there were several parts to the deal. The new investment will include come from Toyota Japan and the new partnership will also include Toyota's Chinese partnership with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd (GAC), and would see the companies combining services and technologies.
Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota’s Executive Vice President said that the collaboration with Didi Chuxing would take advantage of Toyota's research and development of connected technologies and next-generation battery electric vehicles.
Didi Chuxing’s Toyota automobile fleet
Toyota, has previously said it has a goal of generating 50% of its global sales from electric vehicles by 2025. As well as conducting its own research to electric vehicles and components, Toyota is also working with Chinese battery makers Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd. (CATL) and BYD Co. Ltd. to aid it in developing batteries for its electric cars.
As well as the new investment from Toyota, Didi Chuxing has also set up ventures with BAIC's new-energy vehicle unit and Volkswagen. It has also been reported by Reuters in June that Didi Chuxing was in talks with Nissan Motor Co and its China partner, Dongfeng Group, to form another fleet-management venture.