FORT LAUDERDALE – Many automakers are positioning themselves for a future driven by technology where more people are inclined not to own a car, but simply hail one with the use of a smartphone.
While auto sales hit a record high in 2015, automakers like General Motors which in January, 2016 invested $500 million in Lyft, one of Uber’s main competitors are focusing on developing technology for autonomous vehicles.
In a recent development in the ridesharing industry, Toyota and Uber have formed a partnership similar to the alliance between Gett, a popular ride-hailing app in Europe and Volkswagon where Volkswagon plans to invest $300 million in Gett in Europe.
With so many technological advancements in the ridesharing industry beckoning change in the mobility landscape, automakers are shuffling to create partnerships and alliances to position their brand with technology companies like Uber and Gett.
In a statement regarding Toyota’s partnership with Uber, Shigeki Tomoyama, senior managing officer of Toyota stated, “Ride-sharing has huge potential in terms of shaping the future of mobility”.
Automaker Fiat Chrysler has formed a partnership with Google to invest in technology for driverless minivans. Many automakers have to aggressively position their brand with the most innovative ride-hailing companies to leverage innovation and branding in the every expanding ridesharing industry.
Toyota vehicles are incredibly popular with most Uber Partners. They are fuel-efficient, highly economical vehicles well-suited for Uber Partners. Uber has expanded their partnership with Toyota to make it easier for Uber Partners to lease Toyota vehicles and pay down the cost by driving for Uber.
Over the next few years, Uber and Toyota will expand their partnership to include new apps exclusively for Uber Partners to add value to the Uber ride-hailing experience. “We’re excited that Toyota, the largest automobile manufacturer in the world, is making a strategic investment in Uber as part of a broader global partnership,” said Emil Michael, chief business officer of Uber.
Uber’s flexible vehicle financing efforts translates into “effective onboarding” of new Uber Partners to increase their profitability and competitive leverage with an ever-expanding network of Uber Partner drivers.