TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday that it plans to invest $1 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab Inc.
The deal is one of Toyota’s largest investments outside of its core business of making cars. Chief Executive Akio Toyoda, who has said the automotive business will be in jeopardy in a future of self-driving and shared vehicles, has pushed his company to break into new businesses to ensure its survival.
The deal expands an existing partnership announced last year between the auto giant and the Singapore-based startup, which saw Toyota
provide a software backbone for a portion of Grab’s ride-hailing fleet. That software allowed Grab to test new services, including insurance with a price based on driving habits.
Under the deal, these services will be rolled out across Grab’s rental fleet. One of Toyota’s employees will become a Grab executive, and a Toyota executive will also take a seat on the startup’s board.
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