Toyota halves its stake in Uber and seeks to maintain its ties

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Japan’s Toyota Motor has cut its stake in Uber Technologies by about half after the ride-sharing giant divested the self-driving unit at the center of their collaboration.

“Developing vehicles related to automated driving was one of Toyota’s main investment goals,” Toyota spokesman Shiori Hashimoto said in a statement, adding that the company still aims to maintain its alliance.

The world’s largest automaker by volume held 5.13 million shares of Uber as of March 31, up from 10.25 million shares it held a year earlier, Toyota revealed in a regulatory filing on Thursday 23 June.

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The Japanese automaker has valued its current stake in Uber at 22.4 billion yen ($165.51 million).

“Toyota continues to hold shares as part of our goal to maintain our collaboration and good relationship with Uber,” Hashimoto said.

Toyota had invested $500 million in Uber in 2018 to jointly work on developing self-driving cars as the two companies sought to catch up with rivals in the fiercely competitive self-driving business.

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In 2020, however, Uber sold its self-driving unit to Aurora Innovation in a bid to meet its profitability goals.

Aurora said in March that the company and Toyota had begun testing a fleet of self-driving vehicles in Texas, with two security operators and no passengers on board.

Uber was not immediately available for comment.

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