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Volkswagen, Toyota buy into ridesharing

Automakers Toyota and Volkswagen on Tuesday announced separate partnerships with rideshare companies Uber and Gett.

Volkswagen, Toyota buy into ridesharing

Japanese firm Toyota has inked a memorandum of understanding with Uber to explore collaboration, which is scheduled to start with trials in countries where ridesharing is doing good business.

"Through this collaboration with Uber, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to customers," Shigeki Tomoyama, senior managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation, said in a joint statement.

A strategic investment by the Toyota Financial Services Corporation and its Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership is also a part of the deal. The two companies, however, did not disclose the figure.

It is learned that Toyota and Uber will also explore collaboration on developing in-car apps. The two companies will also set up a program to sell Toyota and Lexus vehicles to Uber.

"Toyota vehicles are among the most popular cars on the Uber platform worldwide and we look forward to collaborating with Toyota in multiple ways going forward," said Emil Michael, Uber's chief business officer.

In a related move, German auto giant Volkswagen announced that it had invested as much as $300 million in Gett, which has a presence in more than 60 countries worldwide including London, Moscow and New York.

"The ride-hailing market represents the greatest market potential in on-demand mobility, while creating the technological platform for developing tomorrow's mobility business models," it said in a statement.

Shahar Waiser, Gett's chief executive and founder, said the company "provides VW with the technology to expand beyond car ownership to on-demand mobility for consumers and businesses."