Toyota to Invest $394M in Flying Taxi Start-Up Joby Aviation

Zacks Equity Research

Toyota Motor Corporation TM will make an investment of $394 million in the U.S. start-up, Joby Aviation, which engages in the production of all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL), for urban transportation services.

Toyota, alongside Baillie Gifford and Global Oryx and other investors, is the lead investor in Joby Aviation's $590-million Series C financing. It will work with Joby Aviation to design and build a fleet of eVTOL for use in a ride-hailing service.

The prototype aircraft, which looks like an enormous toy drone, features six electric propellers and is capable of flying 150 miles on a single charge, at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour.

Toyota was also part of a previous funding round for Joby Aviation that helped the company raise $100 million, back in 2018. The latest investment brings Joby Aviation’s total funding to $720 million, including the previous rounds.

Further, Toyota is making advancements toward self-driving vehicles. It is signing collaboration agreements to develop autonomous car technology. In 2019, Toyota invested in Recogni Inc. and May Mobility for self-driving shuttle buses. Earlier this month, it announced plans to build a prototype city of the future — Woven City — in Japan, which will be built on a 175-acre site at the base of Mt. Fuji.

Toyota plans to introduce fuel-cell-enabled SUVs, and pick-up and commercial trucks, by 205. Additionally, the company is working on hydrogen fuel stations in collaboration with various partners. It aims to achieve half its global sales from electric vehicles during this period.

Moreover, Toyota is shifting its vehicle production to newer cost-saving platforms, which will slash costs by 20%. The company has strengthened its ties with Subaru and the partnership intends to make better cars suitable for CASE (connected, autonomous, shared and electric) era.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Toyota Motors carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of Toyota have outperformed the industry it belongs to. Its shares have appreciated 11.7% compared with the industry’s rise of 3.7%.

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BRP has a projected earnings growth rate of 19.75% for the ongoing year. Its shares have gained 57% over the past year.

SPX has an expected earnings growth rate of 8.09% for the current year. The stock has surged 79.7% in the past year.

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