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By Plowing Millions Into Uber, Toyota Eyes Future of Cars

  • Ride providers ‘control vast numbers of drivers:’ executive
  • Toyota wants to sell them more autos, services: Tomoyama
Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
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Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s biggest carmaker, is preparing for a potential future where people don’t buy cars.

That’s behind the hefty investments that the company has made in ride-hailing providers, most prominently the $1 billion that it poured into Southeast Asian leader Grab. Toyota sees the partnership as an opportunity to get Grab to buy more of its cars and to push services like insurance and maintenance, Shigeki Tomoyama, the global head of Toyota’s connected car division, said in an interview this month in Nagoya, Japan.