Japanese carmaker Toyota is teaming up with Uber to provide new leasing options for drivers who wish to buy new vehicles for ride-sharing.
As part of their partnership deal, the two companies revealed on May 24 that Toyota will provide prospective Uber drivers a chance to lease vehicles through Toyota Financial Services, allowing them to pay for their cars using earnings from ride-sharing services.
"Against the backdrop of rapidly evolving car usage trends in recent years, the development of mobility services in new areas, including ridesharing and car-sharing, has gathered pace on a global scale," Toyota and Uber said in their joint statement. "Through this agreement on the trials, Toyota and Uber will accelerate further talks in aiming to establish new services and to offer new value to customers."
The move is considered to be part of a new strategy by car manufacturers to partner up with ride-sharing companies in response to tech firms, such as Google, Apple and even Uber, determining the direction of the world's car industry.
On May 24, German luxury car manufacturer Volkswagen also announced that it had invested $300 million in smaller ride-sharing company Gett.
Earlier this year, General Motors had also poured a $500-million investment into Lyft, Uber's chief rival in the ride-sharing industry in the United States, in order to create a network for on-demand self-driving cars.
Even Apple, a company known more for its mobile devices, had recently invested $1 billion of its money into Didi Chuxing, a well-known ride-hailing service in China. Analysts believe this particular investment was made as a way for the tech giant to solidify its presence in the Asian nation's market.
Meanwhile, Ford is still looking to team up with other companies to help it expand its horizons beyond the manufacturing and selling of cars. The carmaker's chairman, Bill Ford, said on May 23 that they will reveal more about their current plans as the year progresses.