Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday it will invest $600 million in Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing as well as a new joint venture as the companies seek to develop connected and electric vehicle technologies in China.
The move 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.
It also comes as the auto and communications industries develop the next generation of connected vehicle technologies, including self-driving and so-called vehicle-to-everything technology, with the advancement of 5G network technology.
Toyota said the new joint venture would include the Japanese automaker’s Chinese partnership with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd (GAC), and would see the companies combining services and technologies to work on fleet management, car maintenance and car rental services.
That collaboration will utilize Toyota’s connected technologies and next-generation battery electric vehicles, Toyota’s Executive Vice President Shigeki Tomoyama said in a statement.