Toyota Begins Alliance with Grab Ride-Hailing Service

AutoInformed.com

This is a vastly greater business chance or opportunity than Toyota sharing cars with small numbers of tourists on Okinawa.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Toyota Financial Services Corporation (TFS), Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. (Aioi) and Grab, I (Grab), the largest ride-hailing service company in Southeast Asia, will work together to provide ride-hailing services throughout Southeast Asia. It’s just the latest example among many of traditional automobile companies linking with 21st century firms whose business model in part threatens automaker production and sales models -if not the existence of smaller auto companies.

The stampede to cooperation with car sharing companies began with GM’s acquisition of Lyft – a Uber competitor –  for $500 million in January of 2016. This was a surprising move to some – including other automakers – who were out of touch with what they thought and long derided as a moribund company. However, GM was moving fast post-bankruptcy with a new generation of leaders.  (Lyft and GM Express Drive Expands to Colorado, California*) Global car sharing services revenue will grow from $1.1 billion in 2015 to $6.5 billion in 2024, according to Navigant Research.

The Connected Company, a TMC in-house entity, developed the data-transmission TransLog driving recorder, a device that captures driving patterns and provides telematics services such as the vehicle position management system to fleet customers. This project will now be extended to Southeast Asia for the first time.

With TransLog installed in 100 Grab rental cars, Toyota will analyze driving patterns captured by the recording devices, and consider steps to deliver connected services including user-based insurance, financing programs, and predictive maintenance that make up the Toyota Mobility Service Platform (MSPF).

Grab it’s claimed offers the widest range of on-demand transportation services in the most markets in Southeast Asia, with more than 55 million app downloads and over 1.2 million drivers in 87 cities across 7 countries.

“Through this collaboration with Grab, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to our fleet customers in Southeast Asia.” said Shigeki Tomoyama, Senior Managing Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation and President of the Connected Company.

“Toyota is a global leader in the automotive sector and one of the most popular brands with drivers on our platform right across Southeast Asia, and we’re excited to work together to explore how we can extend more and better-connected car services to our driver partners,” said Anthony Tan, co-founder and CEO of Grab Inc. “We are confident this will benefit our driver partners, and we look forward to exploring other ways to collaborate with Toyota in the future.”

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About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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