The MaaS Alliance, the public-private organisation advocating for an open MaaS ecosystem and proudly hosted by ERTICO, welcome our first new Member of the year: Toyota Financial Services. In this interview Patrizia Niehaus, Director Mobility, Europe-Africa Region, explains Toyota Financial Services work and interest with Mobility and Mobility as a Service.

Toyota Financial Services vision is to “Create Value by Enabling Freedom of Movement”. In the past century, freedom of movement was quite a vehicle-centric concept while now it is more about seamless user experience and tailored services. What does it require from an automotive company to turn into a mobility company?
The world around us is changing, driven by evolving customer needs, technology developments and cities who face bigger congestion and air pollution issues. We see new mobility as an evolution of our traditional car business and an opportunity to contribute to necessary changes. Car ownership is shifting to usership proposition, and we want to be present in the mobility market with a strong and diversified offer.

Toyota Financial Services was one of the early investors in MaaS (to MaaS Global in 2017), what did it make you invest in this new business?
The technology and business model of MaaS Global matched TFS’ strategic target to broaden our portfolio and offer mobility products and services to our customers. The investment and close cooperation allowed us to accelerate research, development and testing of solutions. It also challenged us to explore the potential of the, at that time, mostly unexploited market of “Mobility as a Service”.

What do you think are the most exciting aspects and opportunities of this new business?
The concept of MaaS provides quick and easy access to an entire mobility ecosystem including routing, transportation choice, payments etc. from various providers, all putting the user in the center of the services.
Launching multimodal, integrated mobility services is demonstrating how Toyota is changing from a car manufacturing company to a mobility company, acknowledging the user wants to choose the best matching service in that very moment – hopefully considering more and more also services like KINTO, Toyota’s new mobility brand.

Why did you join the MaaS Alliance? In what aspect of our work are you interested most?
Alliances allow their members to act stronger, faster and more effectively.
Joining the Maas Alliance is a great opportunity to demonstrate our conviction that MaaS concepts will be the core of any future, sustainable mobility solutions. To the benefit of both, individual user and cities or regions. As a member, we can accelerate our learning, about the needs and ideas of cities, local authorities, local mobility service operators and how the MaaS sector will build synergies. And with this knowledge we will be able to become an active contributor to those synergies.

How do you think the mobility ecosystem will look like in 5-year time?
We strongly believe in a mobility business built around partnerships and connecting with an entire ecosystem. No company can be successful on their own. Therefore, hopefully all parties join the idea of cooperation: cities with larger and smaller organisations of both, automotive and non-automotive origin.